Like every other A-lister in Hollywood, Robert Downey Jr. has quite a few projects on the go at any given moment, but the one that seems to be moving along quicker than others is the big screen version of “Perry Mason.” It does have franchise potential, after all. The project was first announced last fall and it continues to move forward, as a writer has now been found.
Marc Guggenheim, whose movie CV boasts the dubious credits of “Green Lantern” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” has been tapped to take a pen to the movie. Based on the books by Erle Stanley Gardner, “Perry Mason” started on the big screen with a string of movies in the 1930s with Warren William as the famed defense attorney. But it was the long-running ’50s and ’60s TV series starring Raymond Burr that launched “Perry Mason” into the stratosphere, and its popularity still stands as the show continues in syndication around the world.
So where will it go now? The story was been dreamed up by RDJ and Team Downey president David Gambino that will retain the 1930s Los Angeles setting of the source material (smart play) with the familiar gallery of characters, including Mason’s secretary Della Street, private investigator Paul Drake, and legal nemesis Hamilton Burger set to appear. So, sounds good. That said, the hire of Guggenheim worries us that rather than being a brainy (but still fun) period thing, they’re just gonna essentially “Sherlock Holmes” the shit out of this. But that isn’t really surprising either.
So we’ll see how the project develops, but this probably won’t be the Perry your grandma remembers. [THR]