The long-gestating PERRY MASON series doesn’t even have a pilot episode shot yet let alone a series in the can. Hell, it doesn’t even have a lead actor now. Due to a busy schedule, Robert Downey Jr. is stepping away from the iconic Perry Mason role. It is true. If you go to his IMDb page he has got a few projects in the fire including The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, Sherlock Holmes 3, another Avengers flick and more. That seems to have squeezed out the opportunity to appear as Earle Stanley Gardner’s master lawyer for the ages.
We reported back on 08.15.16 that Nic Pizzolatto and Downey were teaming up to create a reboot of the series under Downey’s production company. Pizzolatto was to pen the work but he got motivated to create TRUE DETECTIVE Season 3 instead. We next reported on Downey’s dream project on 09.12.17 to state that a new writing staff was onboard. Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald have been generating the scripts since.
What surprises this writer is that the project is still alive and in development. Downey Jr. could have halted the idea after Pizzolatto stepped out but instead he pressed on. Even now, we Downey announcing that he is not going to play the key role he once again could have axed the whole thing. But instead it is still in development and HBO is still interested. Casey Bloys, head of HBO programming, at the latest TCA event said – “We developed two really good scripts, and we are talking about, is there any actor that would be great for the role. There is a lot of interest from actors, we are thinking about who that might be.”
Though that jumble of words is not the most eloquent of statements it does make clear that just because Downey won’t personify Perry Mason they are not giving up in finding the right actor to do so. Robert Downey Jr. will remain an executive producer on the project alongside his wife, Susan Downey. We will let you know if the return of Perry Mason actually happens on HBO.