Nic Pizzolatto is hard at work for HBO, but it isn’t on a new season of True Detective.
Variety reports that Pizzolatto and Robert Downey Jr. are developing a series for HBO based around the classic literary/TV defense attorney Perry Mason. The idea for the series is to keep in line with HBO and Pizzolatto’s True Detective by having short and focused 8 episode seasons. Unlike True Detective the series would be ongoing and ideally have Downey Jr. consistently as the lead by working around his schedule, and with each season having a new arc.
Investigator and defense attorney Perry Mason was originally created by pulp author Erle Gardner. The character of Perry Mason has appeared in many forms in books, film, TV, and radio, though the most notable version is Raymond Burr’s portrayal of Mason in CBS’ nine season long Emmy-winning series Perry Mason.
The Pizzolatto and Downey Jr. project is still in the process of securing the rights for Perry Mason. Five years ago Downey Jr. and his producing partner/wife Susan Downey set up a Perry Mason film at Warner Bros. in which Downey Jr. was supposed to star, so it makes sense that Downey Jr. would be involved in this HBO and Pizzolatto project.
The in-development Perry Mason project is part of Pizzolatto’s overall HBO deal. This news further supports Deadline’s report of what HBO head of programming Casey Bloys said at the TCAs about Pizzolatto not writing season 3 of True Detective but supervising on its development and production.
Pizzolatto and Team Downey (Downey Jr. and wife/partner Susan Downey) are executive producing alongside Joe Horacek.