Downey, Ryder may star in next Woody Allen film. They're in talks to topline the Woodman's latest mysterious project

By Gary Susman
Updated July 24, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

The post-scandal career rehabilitation continues for Robert Downey Jr. and Winona Ryder. Both are in talks to work for a guy who knows a thing or two about weathering scandal: Woody Allen. According to Variety, the Woodman is in talks with the two about starring in his upcoming movie, which will shoot this fall and be distributed by Fox Searchlight.

As is typical with Allen projects, the title and plot are being kept under wraps. But we wouldn’t be surprised if this film continues Allen’s predilection for casting an older guy (usually himself) opposite a younger woman. That was the case in 1998’s ”Celebrity,” in which Allen stand-in Kenneth Branagh cheated on his wife (Famke Janssen) with Ryder’s character. It’s also apparently the case in ”Anything Else,” Allen’s newest film, which DreamWorks is releasing on Sept. 19, and which reportedly finds Allen’s character fixating on Christina Ricci. (The film also features Jason Biggs, Danny DeVito, and Jimmy Fallon.)

Both Downey and Ryder have been getting their careers back in gear lately. His ”The Singing Detective,” which premiered at Sundance, is due out this fall, and he recently shot the thriller ”Gothika” with Halle Berry. Ryder just signed on to star opposite Sean Connery in the period drama ”Embers” for director Milos Forman (”Amadeus,” ”Man in the Moon”) and to star in the World War II romance ”The Widow Claire” for Robert Altman.