Robert Downey Jr Eyes Perry Mason

He's developing a new star vehicle...

Having launched two franchises with Sherlock Holmes and Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr is looking to keep the iconic roles coming by developing a new movie based on the Perry Mason character originally created by novelist Erle Stanley Gardner.

Warner Bros., which has produced the Sherlock films, is involved with the Mason development, kicked off once estate attorney Joe Horacek nabbed the rights to the character. Downey and co-producer David Gambino have come up with a story idea and are now in the process of finding a writer to turn it into a screenplay.

While the character of Perry Mason is best known to audiences through the Raymond Burr-starring TV series, the legal eagle actual first stalked the courts in Gardner’s books, the first of which was published in 1933. The author went on to write 82 novels and many short stories, which revolved around Mason, secretary Della Street, private eye Paul Drake and the team’s legal nemesis, Hamilton Burger.

And this won’t be the first time that Mason has been turned into another format, since more than 3,257 episodes of a radio series were produced beginning in 1937 and Warners made six previous movies.

Downey plans to return the character to his 1930s LA roots, which is hardly surprising given the success he’s had with his other period character…