According to Variety, Warner Bros. and Robert Downey Jr are teaming up for a new Perry Mason film. For those of you unaware, Perry Mason is one of the most famous fictional lawyers of all time and was created by Erle Stanley Gardner in the 1930's. Gardner wrote a grand total of 82 novels (All of which I own) featuring the famed lawyer.Gardner happened to also serve as a mentor to several great writers such as Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep) and Dashiell Hammett (The Thin Man) and despite their success, he outsold the both of them combined.The novels were adapted into a widely successful radio series in 1937 with 3,257 episodes of the series produced. Now that just proves that people loved Perry Mason. O The books had also been adapted into six films and 34 telepics in the 1930's.Of course the most famous incarnation of the character was the one played on the long running show of the same name featuring the great Raymond Benson as the titular lawyer.
The show ran for a total of nine years, between 1957 and 1966. The series had proven an enormous success for Benson and he returned to the role in 1985 for a series of twenty-six television movies. He continued to play the character up until his death in 1993. Barbara McHale who was famous for her role as Mason's secretary Della Street continued to star in four more TV movies in a series entitled " A Perry Mason Mystery". The show was also quite notable for it's memorable theme by Fred Steiner.
The new movie like the novels will be set in 1930's Los Angeles and will feature all the fan favorite characters introduced from the novels including Della Street, Private Investigator Paul Drake, and even Perry's famed courtroom rival District Attorney Hamilton Burger. The script for the film will be based on an original story written by Robert Downey Jr. and the Executive Producer on the film David Gambino. Currently Downey Jr. is eyeing the title role of Perry Mason but has not signed on as the star just yet. The film still needs a writer and a director though.
There aren't too many courtroom dramas coming out in theaters these days so this is something I'm definitely looking forward to. Downey Jr. is an excellent actor and while he's not Raymond Benson, I do trust that he'll do justice to the role. If he does sign on to play Mason, then he's got one of hell of a legacy to live up to because the show is still in syndication today in countries around the world. So what do you duders make of this, a good idea or the usual Hollywood executive butchery?