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It's easy to label the men behind the Star Trek and Iron Man franchises as geeks. They clearly have affection for sci-fi and comic book culture. But they are also, apparently, big Downton Abbey fans, as recent developments would have you believe.

Today—via Vulture—J.J. Abrams's production company, Bad Robot, tweeted a shot of the Star Trek (and Star Wars) director hobnobbing alongside Mrs. Hughes (a.k.a. Downton's Phyllis Logan) in the kitchen: 

The Bad Robot "Quote of the Day" comes from the mouths of Dowager Countesses: 

Abrams is currently on the Stark Trek Into Darkness press tour, and has been busy answering questions from eager, panting, Star Wars fans. (Yes, John Williams will probably score the upcoming seventh episode.) But here he is, clearly demonstrating his love for something that couldn't be farther from Klingons and Wookiees. Still, Abrams's (professedDownton love ("It was like opening a bag of potato chips that I'd never tasted before") shouldn't really surprise anyone. This man created Felicity, so he obviously has a soft spot for soapy television. 

Given Abrams's history with emotional, romantic drama, we'd write off the geek-Downton connection as a one-time thing. But, no, Downton apparently plays a role in what is shaping up to be one of the summer's biggest blockbusters: Iron Man 3

This past weekend Jon Favreau, who plays Tony Stark pal and security guy Happy in the Iron Man films (and directed the first two), tweeted: 

No spoilers here (or in our Richard Lawson's new Iron Man review), but the show ends up being a recurring joke in the film, Richard reports from a screening. 

The geek love of Downton has tons of crossover potential. Our pitch: Matthew Crawley returns from the dead as a superhero who fights aliens all for the love of Lady Mary. Abrams? Favreau? Anyone in?

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