Five years ago, star Robert Downey Jr. was trying to get a theatrical reboot of Perry Mason off the ground at Warner Bros. Back in 2012, Marc Guggenheim, who would go on to serve as executive producer for The CW's hit superhero shows Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, came aboard to write the script, but that was the last we had heard about the project. Today we have word that Robert Downey Jr. is bringing this project back to the small screen, teaming up with True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto and HBO.
Variety broke the news on this project, and while HBO hasn't confirmed any details about the show, sources claim that it is based on Robert Downey Jr.'s theatrical reboot. Robert Downey Jr. will star in the project, with Nic Pizzolatto set to write the pilot script. Both the actor and writer will also serve as executive producers, along with Robert Downey Jr.'s wife and producing partner, Susan Downey.
The site's sources claim that it will be a full series, and not a TV movie, and it has been in development at HBO since early May. If everything does come together, it would mark Robert Downey Jr.'s first ever starring role on a TV series in his illustrious career. He previously had a two-season arc on the hit Fox series Ally McBeal between 2000 and 2002, and he also had a 16-episode stint on Saturday Night Live between 1985 and 1986.
The original series ran from 1957 to 1968 on CBS, starring Raymond Burr as the title character, based on the iconic novels from Erle Stanley Gardner. When the movie was in development, it was revealed that the story would be set in the 1930s, the same time period from the original novels. The movie was said to also feature characters from the novels such as Della Street, Perry Mason's secretary, private investigator Paul Drake, and lawyer Hamilton Burger, the title character's main courtroom rival. The movie never got off the ground, and after the actor's legal drama The Judge opened to a lukewarm response at the box office, Downey and the studio though television would be a better platform for this story.
We're not sure if this TV series will be set in the 1930s as well, but we'll be sure to keep you posted with updates as soon as we have them. This news comes just weeks after HBO executive Paul Bloys teased that Season 3 of Nic Pizzolato's hit series True Detective may still happen, but nothing is concrete quite yet. The writer-producer has an overall deal with HBO that spans until the year 2018.