Robert Downey Sr. Documentary From Chris Smith Heads to Netflix; Oscar-Qualifying Run Planned

“Sr.” from producer Robert Downey Jr. made its world premiere at this year’s Telluride Film Festival

Robert Downey Sr. and Robert Downey Jr. Chris Smith

Netflix has acquired the worldwide rights to “Sr.,” a documentary film about the life of the late filmmaker Robert Downey Sr. as directed by Chris Smith (“Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond”) and produced by his son Robert Downey Jr.

“Sr.” first made its world premiere at this year’s Telluride Film Festival. The film is described as a “lovingly irreverent portrait of the life and career of maverick filmmaker Robert Downey Sr. that quickly devolves into a meditation on art, mortality, and healing generational dysfunction.”

Team Downey’s Susan Downey, Robert Downey Jr. and Emily Barclay Ford are all producing the film, as is Kevin Ford. The film is a co-production between Team Downey and Library Films.

Netflix plans to release the documentary film later this year. It will next play the New York Film Festival with screenings on Oct. 10 and Oct. 11.

Robert Downey Sr., who famously directed the experimental cult film “Putney Swope,” as well as other films that embraced the Absurdist movement of the underground film scene in the 1960s, died in July 2021 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

“We’re grateful to have Netflix partner with us on this highly personal project. They’re the ideal home for our unconventional, oft absurd, brutally in-depth homage,” producers Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey said in a statement.

“On the first day of filming, Sr. said ‘trust anything, and anything can happen – and that ended up being the guiding light for the project,” Smith said in a statement. “What started as a straightforward documentary quickly devolved into anything but. Knowing what I know now, it’s really the only way you could attempt to make something on the two Downeys. Larger than life, but open and human as ever, it was such a pleasure and life affirming experience to try to capture some glimpses of the highs, lows, and everything in-between.”

Team Downey and Netflix previously collaborated on the fantasy series “Sweet Tooth,” which is heading into its second season. Netflix has also worked with Smith on “Jim & Andy” as well as “Bad Vegan,” “Operation Varsity Blues” and “Fyre.”

THR first reported the news.