You may know him as Iron-Man or Sherlock, but Robert Downey Jr. has had a long time passion for classic tv series Perry Mason. So much so, that he was looking to revive the character for a feature film, however it seems HBO have got involved, and would like it to be developed as a tv series.
Perry Mason first appeared on TV in 1957, and starred Raymond Burr as the LA based defense attorney. Part detective show, part courtroom drama, the first half of the show saw Mason, along with his P.I. and secretary, investigate the crimes of which his client was accused, with the second half presenting the evidence in court.
Mason started as a series of novels from author Erle Stanley Gardner, which led to the popular TV series. There has also been a radio show, countless tv movies, and a short-lived TV reboot in the 70’s based on the character over the years.
Interestingly, the plan for the reboot would not to bring the show into the present day, but keep the 30’s Noir setting of the original Gardner novels, on which the character was based. The show would be written by True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto, and the first season would feature 8 episodes. Assuming it does well, more seasons would be made as and when Robert Downey Jr’s schedule allows.
This seems like a perfect fit. The 30’s noir detective setting is great for Pizzolatto, and a slightly unorthodox attorney/investigator is completely in Downey’s wheelhouse.
This is very early in development at the moment, to the point that they are still securing the rights, but if it comes off, it could be a great production of a classic character. The show would be produced by Pizzolatto, and Downey’s production company, Team Downey.