Robert Downey’s gonna do some animated voice work for WHAT IF…?

Well, sure.

In a recent interview with BuzzfeedThor: Ragnarok star Jeff Goldblum has confirmed that Robert Downey Jr. will be returning to the MCU in Disney+’s upcoming animated TV series What If…?, reprising his iconic role by lending his voice to the the animated version of Tony Stark/Iron Man. Goldblum revealed that his character Grandmaster will be featured in the same episode as Iron Man and Taika Waitti’s Korg.

Voice work’s a lot easier than voice and camera work, and Robert Downey can have a damned cheeseburger while he’s doing it, too. Easy money, folks. Easy money, the fans will love it, and he won’t have to do any close-ups of his head. If there’s a downside, it’s not immediately obvious.

So somebody found this Robert Downey Jr story weird.

I forget who: but the gist of it is as follows. Mark Zuckerberg designed an ‘AI*’ assistant – like you do – and he wants to get a voice for it (Zuckerberg is calling the ‘AI’ ‘Jarvis’). Enter Robert Downey (who gets to be in every Marvel movie from now on, if he likes), who replied:

I’ll do in a heartbeat if Bettany gets paid and donates it to a cause of Cumberbatch’s choosing…that’s the right kind of STRANGE!

Bettany is Paul Bettany, who is the voice of Jarvis/Vision in the Marvel movies, and you know perfectly well who Cumberbatch is.  Anyway… somebody found this potential deal weird, although I don’t. Zuckerberg gets Downey’s voice for his personal not-Siri.  Bettany gets a nice charitable-giving tax deduction for free. Cumberbatch gets to give money to some charity just before his next movie (which is a Marvel movie) comes out.  And Downey doesn’t have to get Zuckerberg, Bettany, and/or Cumberbatch Christmas presents this year.  It all seems perfectly reasonable to me

*It’s not a real AI. If it was a real AI, my wife would have told me about it two years ago.

Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey!

Ace tipped me off to the new Sherlock Holmes movie (coming out in December): he’s got some thoughts about this one that you should check out. And before you start worrying, apparently Guy Ritchie (director) and Jude Law (Watson) are both Holmesians, while Robert Downey (Holmes) is… Robert Downey. So, there’s already a couple of good signs that it won’t suck.

But to segue, while looking up the answer to a question that my lovely wife asked (“Was Sherlock Holmes was the physical confrontation type?”) I came across, a site dedicated to the… well, there’s some controversy whether bartitsu is a ‘real’ Victorian martial art, and not helped by the fact that Doyle called it ‘baritsu.’ Still, people seemed determined to reproduce it now; they have books out (Bartitsu Compendium, Volume 1: History and the Canonical Syllabus) and the aforementioned website.

And this article on the umbrella as a combat weapon is quite good, although I shall politely not address its claim to be an authentic journal article from the Victorian era.

[UPDATE] I have been informed in comments that the article is quite real. I stand abashed.