Robert Downey Jr. will reportedly headline a rebooted Perry Mason series on HBO
Robert Downey Jr. is headed to the small screen. Variety reports that the Marvel Studios star is developing an HBO series alongside True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto. Although no official details have been revealed, the trade reports that the series will be based on Erle Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason books. Downey previous planned to bring Perry Mason to the big screen some years back.
Perry Mason, who made his first appearance in 1933’s The Case of the Velvet Claws, is a criminal defense lawyer featured in scores of Gardner novels, all of which drew from Gardner’s own real life experience as a lawyer. Perry Mason was famously adapted for television with Raymond Burr playing the title role in a nine-season series that launched on CBS in 1957. 1973 saw the launch of a new series, The New Perry Mason, with Monte Markham headlining. Although The New Perry Mason was cancelled after only 15 episodes, Burr wound up returning in a long-running series of telefilms. Burr headlined the vast majority of them (26 out of 30) with both Hal Holbrook and Paul Sorvino taking over the role following Burr’s death in 1993.
The new Perry Mason series will mark Downey’s third major project for the small screen. At the beginning of his career, Downey served as part of the 1985 Saturday Night Live cast and he later played a leading role in the fourth season of the Calista Flockhart series Ally McBeal. Following a recent appearance in this summer’s Captain America: Civil War, Downey is set to reprise his iconic Tony Stark role in next summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. Downey will also serve as executive producer on the Perry Mason series alongside Pizzolato and Susan Downey.
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