Downey will play Steve Lopez, the Los Angeles Times columnist who discovered Nathaniel Ayers, a downtown L.A. homeless man who was a skillful violinist. After learning that Ayers was a prodigy until schizophrenia made it impossible to continue, Lopez wrote columns about the musician and developed a relationship that changed both their lives.
Shooting begins in L.A. in January. The film is based on Lopez's columns, as well as a book he wrote that will be published by Putnam next spring.
The Soloist was released April 24th, 2009 and stars Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey Jr., Catherine Keener, Tom Hollander, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Nelsan Ellis, Rachael Harris, Stephen Root. The film is directed by Joe Wright.