Remember all those rumors we passed along about Tom Cruise being in discussions with Ben Stiller about upping the stakes of their new Hardy Men partnership with a deal for Tropic Thunder? Well, looks like Robert Downey Jr. may have beaten Mr. Cruise to the punch on that one. Downey and Jay Baruchel have signed to star in the big-budget comedy from director Stiller and DreamWorks. Shooting is scheduled to begin July, on a script from Stiller, Justin Theroux and Etan Cohen. The story follows a disasterous movie shoot in which everything that can go wrong does so, and actors who play tough guys must actually get tough in order to save the day.
Downey's role will be Kirk Lazarus, a "four-time Oscar winner," while Baruchel is Kevin Sandusky, an "unknown actor on the set." No indication yet as to exactly how the comic hijinks will unfurl, just some vague plot generalities. This is, of course, not the only high-profile role Downey has landed lately -- he will also be seen on the big screen as Tony 'Ironman' Stark in 2008, opposite Gwyneth Paltrow. As for Stiller, he has his name attached to any number of upcoming projects, including The Mirror, The Marc Pease Experience, Madagascar 2 and The Heartbreak Kid.