Robert Downey Jr.'s Next Role: Mr. Peanut

Where will providing the voice for Mr. Peanut slide in on the list of Robert Downey Jr.'s most important roles? The New York Times reported this weekend that Kraft Foods is giving the iconic Mr. Peanut a makeover, complete with the help of the Due Date star's devil-may-care pipes.

Premiering on Facebook tonight at midnight, "fans" will get a chance to see the rebooted Mr. Peanut campaign before it heads to televisions and movie screens. What can you expect?

The humorous commercial will also unveil a new look for Mr. Peanut, meant to give him a more authentic appearance by evoking designs of the character that date to the 1930s and 1940s. He is now brown, rather than yellow, and sports -- appropriately for a spokes-character -- a gray flannel suit.

Nothing says spokes-peanut like a gray flannel suit. Having the voice of a major movie star probably won't hurt either. Said Jason Levin, senior director for marketing at Planters East Hanover, N.J. office: "One thing we learned is that while people love Mr. Peanut, they weren't connecting with him beyond the nostalgia. Having him able to speak is bringing him to life as a personality, and people can engage with him more."

As the Times so hilariously notes: "Mr. Levine hastened to reassure fans that 'he's still Mr. Peanut, with the top hat and monocle and cane.'" Brilliant. Hey, for RDJ, this has to be a better gig than Heart and Souls, right?

· Mr. Peanut's New Look? Planters Went Old School [NYT]



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