Robert Downey Jr. Will Fulfill His Dream To Become Perry Mason In A New HBO Series
Robert Downey Jr. is not content with just being Iron Man, among other amazing roles throughout his career. No, Downey has been trying for years to iron out the details on a project that would allow him to portray the iconic fictional attorney, originally made famous by Erle Stanley Gardener in his 1930s pulp fiction.
Now, thanks to Robert Downey Jr., Perry Mason will live again in a new HBO series. Robert has obtained True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto as the writer for the series. Robert will not only play the title role, he plans to produce the program along with Joe Horacek, and his wife Susan Downey as co-producers, according to Variety.
Perry Mason was first conceived by Erle Stanley Gardener [1889 – 1970] in the 1930’s. Gardener was the king of pulp fiction in his own time, despite complaints by the critics of his day that he was not a good writer. Gardener got his start in print publications with stories and continued serials, before graduating to novels. Erle Gardener was, and to an extent still is, widely read according to Thrilling Detective. Gardener once admitted a dual reason for writing.
“I write to make money, and I write to give the reader sheer fun.”
Robert Downey Jr. is said to be a huge fan of the entire Perry Mason concept, appreciating the historic novels and Raymond Burr’s 1957 to 1966 portrayal of the pulp fiction character. The show was not only popular at the time as a prime time series, but has been wildly popular in the form of classic TV re-runs for over 50 years.
Perry Mason has been revived many times, though, since his beginnings as the subject of 80 novels, many short stories, a radio series and six feature films back in the 1930s. It is undeniable that Mason made a huge impression on his time period, but what is most remarkable is that the fictional character has remained as an icon into the present day. He was the subject of a popular comic strip in the 1950’s. The New Perry Mason series also ran from 1973-1974. In the 1980s and 1990’s Erle Stanley Gardener’s iconic character was the subject of over 20 made for television films according to Deadline Hollywood.Robert Downey Jr. has a dream to refashion himself as the latest Perry Mason. He will bring Mason into the twenty-first century, with a new HBO series. At first, Robert wanted to make a movie featuring Gardner’s historic fictional character, but he recently made a deal with HBO to recreate the original 1930’s time frame as a theme for the ageless classic.
The Perry Mason made for HBO classic will be a seasonal series featuring about eight episodes per season for at least two years. By running a short season, Robert will be free to do other projects. Nic Pizzolatto, Downey’s chosen writer will be able to continue his work as the writer of True Detective. The iron man actor wanted to ensure he had the best available writer for this type of work, and so he pitched the idea to Pizzolatto who has agreed to commit himself to the project.How well, Robert Downey Jr. stacks up against Raymond Burr is yet to be seen. It is likely, though, with Burr long passed, Downey isn’t competing with Burr as much as paying homage to someone who was no doubt a childhood icon for Robert. It is easy to imagine a small Downey Jr. wide-eyed in front of the TV, probably wondering why one of the best shows wasn’t in color. Yet he must have been captivated by an image that still fascinates him.
Though Robert Downey Jr. has not commented, one must wonder just how long Robert has dreamed of playing Mason. It is well known though that Downey has wanted to make a Mason film for at least five years.
Robert Downey Jr. will finally become the next actor to portray the brilliant attorney, Perry Mason.
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