Say what? We already know that producer/showrunner Nic Pizzolatto has a development deal with HBO. Now, it seems he is teaming up to direct Robert Downey, Jr. in a project. So naturally we would all think that the producer snagged the ‘Ironman’ for another go-around of TRUE DETECTIVE. But that is not what is in development – PERRY MASON is!
Say what? Variety broke the news and stated that the idea had been Downey’s for a while now. To quote the site –
Downey Jr. has wanted to do some sort of “Perry Mason” project for some time, having originally set it up at Warner Bros. as a film back in 2011. The film never found its footing and after his other lawyer-driven pic “The Judge” had mixed results at the box office, the studio and Team Downey thought that television was a better platform for it.
So, Pizzolatto and Downey Jr. are in collaboration to turn the work into an HBO drama series. The TD scribe will write the series with Downey in the lead role and both will serve as executive producers along with Susan Downey. Due to Downey Jr.’s schedule the show will likely be a limited series, eight to ten episode long; though if successful it could return for additional seasons similar to TRUE DETECTIVE’s format.
For those perhaps too young to know the Perry Mason character was a fictional Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer who originally appeared in over 80 detective novels and short stories by Erle Stanley Gardner. He said of his character –
He is a lawyer who fights hard on behalf of his clients and who enjoys unusual, difficult or nearly-hopeless cases. He frequently accepts clients on a whim based on his curiosity about their problem, for a minimal retainer, and finances the investigation of their cases himself if necessary.
The character also appeared on radio hours and perhaps was made most famous on TV. He was personified by Raymond Burr who played the role from 1957 to 1966. No further information is known at this time about the reboot, but the project is big and prestigious enough to entice Downey Jr. to TV. It still leaves a lot a fun questions though. Who knows how this may affect season three of TRUE DETECTIVE? We hope this project motivates Pizzolatto to write at his best; like he captured us in his Season One. And how about seeing Downey Jr on HBO? Having seen classic PERRY MASON shows with Burr the character is not full of the charm and schmooze that Downey likes to play. Well, it is a reboot so he could still tweak the character that way. We will know more when the creators start talking about this HBO crime project. How do you like the idea?