The television reboot of Perry Mason has gotten some new writers. The character of Perry Mason has been around for over 70 years. Originally the protagonist in a series of books by Erle Stanley Gardner, Mason was first introduced in 1933 in the novel The Case of the Velvet Claws and appeared in over 80 books and a handful of short stories during the next forty years. The character is a very unconventional defense attorney, who manages to not only successfully defend client after client, he does so by proving that someone else committed the crime.
These books have been adapted to numerous forms, including comic strips, comic books, and a radio series. There were two television series as well, and the stars of the first series reprised their roles in several made-for-TV movies in the '80s and '90s. There were also six films about Perry Mason in the 1930s, but none since. In 2011 it was reported that Robert Downey Jr. would star in a film adaption. However, over the years the decision was made to do a new TV series instead on HBO.
Now it seems as though there has been another step forward in bringing this reboot of Perry Mason to life. Writer Nic Pizzolatto - who was previously attached - has stepped down to focus on season 3 of True Detective, which he created. However, Deadline is reporting that Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald have taken over writing the series.
Fitzgerald and Jones are frequent collaborators, having worked together on several TV shows including Weeds, United States of Tara, and Friday Night Lights. Jones also has some history with HBO, as a writer for Boardwalk Empire. Meanwhile, Perry Mason will be Downey Jr's return to television - aside from a guest voice on Family Guy he has not been on a TV show since Ally McBeal.
The character of Perry Mason is perfect for Downey Jr. He often plays unconventional characters who do things their own way and don't play by the rules - and that is exactly who Mason has always been. The character tends to behave more like a detective than a lawyer, engaging in behaviors ranging from car chases to searching crime scenes for new evidence.
There is no word at this time on when Perry Mason will air, or on further casting - Mason is generally assisted by secretary Della Street and P.I. Paul Drake - but with Fitzgerald and Jones taking over the writing, maybe things will finally start moving forward again.