One possible filler of his downtime later in the year may be “Inherent Vice”, which is due to be directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood, Magnolia, Boogie Nights).
Inherent Vice is an adaptation of a 2009 novel by Thomas Pynchon, all about a stoner private detective trying to solve a series of mysteries in late 1960’s LA, against a backdrop of the Manson trials. Inherent Vice is said to be one of Pynchon’s more accessible works, though I can’t pretend to hold any first hand knowledge on that front. CAA rep both Downey Jr and Anderson and have declined to comment so far. File this one under rumour for the time being and we’ll let you know when we hear further.
Downey Jr has now concluded his work on Sherlock Holmes 2, ready for a late 2011 release and The Avengers is set for release in Summer 2012. Iron Man 3 has also been announced, potentially for a 2013 release, so RDJ looks like being pretty busy, whether he signs for Inherent Vice or not.