Sr. Trailer: A Portrait Of Robert Downey Sr., Made By Robert Downey Jr.

A posthumous portrait of the life of underground filmmaker Robert Downey Sr. is headed to Netflix next month, over a year after the director, writer, and actor passed away at the age of 85. The black-and-white documentary "Sr." is directed by "American Movie" filmmaker Chris Smith, but it's also clearly made with love by his son, actor Robert Downey Jr. The younger Downey produced the film and appears on-screen alongside his dad, asking him questions about his life, his work, and the pair's own relationship.

"Sr." debuted on the festival circuit this fall, but its first trailer has just arrived. Based on this preview alone, "Sr." looks both poignant and irreverent; it's clearly colored by Downey Jr.'s signature wittiness, but not overwhelmed by it. Instead, it seems to open up the floor to the elderly Downey patriarch, letting him answer questions about his career making movies like "Putney Swope" and "Greaser's Palace" while movie clips, home videos, and modern-day footage of the family play out on screen. Check out the trailer below.

The story of a filmmaker and father

Whether or not you're a fan of Downey Jr., I think it's safe to say that "Sr." looks like a pretty lovely film. Pull quotes in the trailer praise the movie's honesty and emotion, but even without the blurbs, it's pretty clear this doc will tug at some heartstrings. In the promo, the Downeys touch on Downey Jr.'s previous substance abuse and legal troubles, discuss Downey Sr.'s feelings of fear surrounding the end of his life, and spend time with Downey Jr.'s son.

Lest it all sound too sentimental, there's some funny stuff, too. I laughed out loud when an interviewer asked Downey Sr., seated in an empty movie theater, "Do people try to ascribe meaning to your movies?" and the filmmaker answered, "Oh my God, I hope not." The trailer also ends on a wry note, as the film's subject says they "can do better" than the title "Sr." Alas, that's what the film ended up with.

This will mark Downey Jr.'s first on-screen appearance since 2020's "Dolittle," though he and his wife and producing partner Susan Downey have also recently served as executive producers on Netflix's "Sweet Tooth" and HBO's "Perry Mason." This spring, it was also announced that they'll be producing two Sherlock Holmes-related TV shows for HBO Max.

"Sr." will be available to stream on Netflix on December 2, 2022.