Posted on Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 by Angie Han
It’s been nearly two decades since the last time Perry Mason graced the screen, but considering Hollywood’s current obsession with making everything old new again, it’s probably not so surprising that the beloved defense attorney is slated for a big-screen revival. Last fall, Robert Downey, Jr., his wife/partner Susan Downey, and Warner Bros. announced a feature film reboot for the character. Now that project is inching a bit closer to reality as Green Lantern writer Marc Guggenheim enters talks to pen the script. More details after the jump.
Although audiences likely recall the Raymond Burr incarnation of the character best, thanks to the wild popularity of the 1957-1966 TV series and its subsequent specials and made-for-TV movies, Downey’s movie will reach back to Erle Stanley Garder‘s original novels from the 1930s for inspiration. Guggenheim’s ’30s Los Angeles-set script will be informed by the literary version’s tone and characterization, even as the plotline itself will be based on a new idea by Downey and David Gambino. The project is being developed as a potential vehicle for Downey.
A look at Guggenheim’s resume makes it clear that he’s a very appropriate pick to tackle the script. Before he launched his career as a screenwriter and comic book scribe, Guggenheim had a career as an attorney — a background which served him well when he went on to work on law shows like The Practice and Law & Order. More recently, he and Greg Berlanti created ABC’s legal dramedy Eli Stone, and the pair are now at work on another legal series for Fox, called Guilty.
Because it’s been so long since Perry Mason was a thing, here’s Mason’s self-description (written by Gardner, of course, because Mason isn’t a real person), as posted by Russ last time around:
You’ll find that I’m a lawyer who has specialized in trial work, and in a lot of criminal work…I’m a specialist on getting people out of trouble. They come to me when they’re in all sorts of trouble, and I work them out…If you look me up through some family lawyer or some corporation lawyer, he’ll probably tell you that I’m a shyster. If you look me up through some chap in the District Attorney’s office, he’ll tell you that I’m a dangerous antagonist but he doesn’t know very much about me.