Is there any role more perfectly suited to Robert Downey Jr.’s talents then that of a lawyer/private detective whose very existence is predicated on one-upping people for a living?
The only way that could possibly be better is if such a character were to exist and to have been one of the most popular fictional character of all time from nearly half a billion books sold, to thousands of radio shows, to hundreds of hours of TV episodes and TV movies all perfectly represented by iconic theme music. Perry Mason is all of those things, even if his popularity has certainly waned like a lot of those mid 20th century cultural phenomenons that still exist, but have dwindled mostly to kitch value and baby boomer nostalgia (I’m thinking Lone Ranger here too). That said, if there’s anything like a lawyer superhero out there for Downey Jr. to play, Mason is it.
RDJ himself certainly agrees, as it is he and his wife’s company (Team Downey) that have teamed up with Warner Brothers to acquire, produce, the project while likely tailoring it as another starring franchise for the man already flushed with an insanely popular hero franchise, and a well-established detective series. Lest you think Downey grows greedy, one must admit that taking on a Perry Mason movie, with its detective novel roots, seems like the perfect way to circle his massive career back around to the film that rejuvenated his image (at least for most film geeks), Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Don’t expect Downey and co. to fully modernize and jazz up the story though– apparently the flick will be an LA period piece set in the 1930s.
Might make a nice companion with WB’s Gangster Squad movie that’s shooting presently.
The pulp fictional lawyer has a literally thousands of cases behind him and hundreds of titles, and it’s unknown if any of them figure into the story that Downey and fellow producer David Gambino have apparently cooked up for the film. No word on possible writers or directors, much less a start date either.