Robert Downey Jr. could be the new Perry Mason.
Variety reports that Warner Bros. and Downey’s production company, Team Downey, plan to make a movie based on the character featured in detective novels, on radio and in television series, with Downey in the titular role of defense attorney.
The project is very much in the early stages; the studio and Team Downey are still seeking a writer to draft the screenplay. The film will reportedly be set in 1930s L.A., suggesting that “Perry Mason 2.0” will maintain a noir-ish vibe.
Say the name Perry Mason to most people of a certain age, and the first person they think of is Raymond Burr, the late actor who won two Emmy Awards for his portrayal of the slick lawyer on the popular late ’50s/early ’60s CBS drama.
Presumably the new “Mason” — which will apparently be based on an original story by Downey and fellow producer David Gambino — will differ radically enough from the television version to render comparisons of Downey to Burr, whom younger audiences may be completely unfamiliar with, irrelevant.
Do you think this is a good move for the “Iron Man” star? Personally, I’m on board as long as this unforgettable Fred Steiner-composed theme song is incorporated somehow.