Renowned for his portrayal of Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. is trading his superhero suit for a grease-stained jumpsuit in his new series, Downey’s Dream Cars. Known for his realistic and blunt persona, Downey Jr. attempts to bring the same authenticity into his new venture, aiming to save the planet from environmental harm using technology, much like his beloved on-screen character, Tony Stark.
The Max docuseries, set to premiere on June 22, mirrors the recent trend of celebrities venturing into eco-conscious initiatives, with Jeremy Renner’s Disney+ series Rennervations being another notable example. The Hollywood Reporter quotes Downey Jr. acknowledging the similar paths he and Renner have embarked upon post their mainstream acting careers, stating, “We will have to compare notes.”
Downey’s Dream Cars: A Win for Climate Action
The concept for the series emerged following Downey Jr.’s establishment of Footprint Coalition, an investment company that combats climate change by funding innovative climate technologies. However, he and his wife, Susan Downey, soon realized a contradiction: his extensive, petrol-guzzling car collection was at odds with the mission of his company. Thus, Downey’s Dream Cars were born as a way to reconcile these two facets of his life while creating a platform for discussing the future of mobility.
Through the series, Downey Jr. is set to convert six classic cars from his personal collection into eco-friendly vehicles, each featuring a unique type of environmental technology. Collaborating with experts nationwide, the star aims to draw attention to the increasing trend of eco-conversions at scale, stating, “I think it’s possible not to have all of these more classic cars continue to dump carbon on us.”
Real-Life Iron Man Taking on Climate Change
Downey Jr. sees the show as “more of a sign to a larger symbol” of companies beginning to take eco-conversions seriously. The Footprint Coalition is poised to scale technologies that save the planet, and the proceeds from a sweepstake where all the vehicles from the show will be given away are set to benefit the Coalition.
The actor has certainly drawn from his experience in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially his character, Tony Stark, known for leveraging technology to battle nefarious forces threatening the planet. Downey’s real-life mission to fight against climate change through the Footprint Coalition and Downey’s Dream Cars, in many ways, parallels Tony Stark’s battles for Earth’s well-being.
Embodying the tenacious spirit of his on-screen persona, Downey Jr. voiced his commitment to environmental betterment and highlighted his willingness to “evaluate, educate, and decarbonize” the vehicles he loves so much.
Classic Cars with a Modern, Green Twist
Among the selection of classic cars to be converted, Downey Jr.’s personal favorite is the ’66 Buick Riviera. This iconic vehicle is not only a head-turner, but it will also soon turn into a green, carbon-neutral machine. As the actor describes it, “A big burly formidable vehicle, and because it’s painted that kind of creamsicle peach, it would also throw off whoever was chasing me.”
Another highlight in the series will be the Buick Roadmaster, a car Downey Jr. specifically called out for its potential eco-friendly makeover. Fellow car enthusiast Dax Shepard expressed his openness to having his own Roadmaster undergo a green transformation. Downey Jr. playfully hinted that this could be a part of the second season.
Putting a Spin on Classic Cars
For those who love classic cars, the series promises to offer a fresh perspective on cherished classics. Each episode will feature a different kind of environmental technology being used to convert these machines. The show promises to make these technologies accessible and exciting, in line with Downey Jr.’s mission to encourage large-scale eco-conversions.
Downey’s Dream Cars are set to make a significant mark in the fight against climate change and perhaps even encourage other celebrities and public figures to take tangible steps in the same direction. Viewers will not only get a chance to see their favorite actor in a new role but also get a glimpse into a future where classic cars and a healthy environment are not mutually exclusive.
The series premieres June 22 on Max and hopes to drive conversations around decarbonization, eco-conversions, and the future of mobility.