HBO are looking to continue pushing to put out top shows in the highly competitive TV space and to do that they are looking to put together one of their proven hit-makers with one of Hollywood’s biggest starts.
Variety is reporting that Nic Pizzolatto (creator of True Detective) and Robert Downey Jr. are working on developing a planned Perry Mason film reboot into a TV series. Downey Jr. has reportedly been wanting to do some sort of Perry Mason project since 2011, when he originally pitched the idea to Warner Bros. The film however never found traction at the studio and after Downey Jr.’s lawyer-driven pic The Judge received mixed results at the box office, they decided TV might be a better platform for it.
For those unfamiliar with the original Perry Mason series (which could be most of us), it was a hugely popular legal drama which starred Raymond Burr and ran on CBS from 1957 to 1966. There have been several other attempts to relaunch the show in both TV and film. This included a successful series of 30 Perry Mason television films aired on NBC, with Burr reprising the role of Mason in 26 of them prior to his death in 1993.
It is not a series I am personally familiar with, but was hugely popular in its heyday and in particular the US. In fact a 2014 study found that Netflix users rate Raymond Burr as their favorite actor, with Barbara Hale, another star from the series, at no.7 on the list. So its no surprise they’ve been looking into getting this back onto TV.
And we’ve seen Downey Jr. on TV as a lawyer before in appearances on the popular Ally McBeal legal drama and the aforementioned The Judge, where he showed he is more than adept at playing a legal hot-shot. Whether he can find the time to actually startin a big TV series may be another issue. He may actually only serve as an executive producer of the series and hand over the acting role to others. It would also be Downey’s first involvement in the TV world since the early 2000s in the aforementioned Ally McBeal.
However, his Marvel commitment is likely to run to an end by 2018, so it is a possibility. Pizzolatto though is only signed up to HBO till 2018, so he might not want to stay around till then, unless he gets an extension.
Neither the studio nor Downey Jr. and Pizzolatto have confirmed these reports though, so nothing has been finalized just yet.
Last Updated: August 17, 2016