Robert Downey Jr., Nic Pizzolatto to Collaborate on HBO Drama

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According to Variety, Roberty Downey Jr. and True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto are banding together for a new HBO drama. Pizzolatto will write the script, while Downey will both produce and star in his first return to TV since leaving comedy series Ally McBeal nearly 15 years ago.

HBO has yet to confirm the project or its limited details, but insiders tell Variety that the series could be the Perry Mason reboot that Downey has been trying to develop for years. It was originally set as a film with Warner Bros. in 2011, but after Downey’s other lawyer-driven flick The Judge received mixed reviews, the studio and Downey thought that TV would be a better platform.

Perry Mason, starring Raymond Burr, originally ran on CBS from 1957-1966 as one of TV’s longest-running legal programs. The reboot would be a short series, as opposed to a TV film, and has been in the works at HBO since as early as May.

Pizzolatto, meanwhile, has an exclusive deal with HBO through 2018 deriving from True Detective. The drama series had a widely successful first season, but disappointed critics and fans alike in its second season.

At a Television Critics Association panel in late July, HBO programming president Casey Bloys revealed that while Pizzolatto does not have an idea for a third season, the series is certainly not dead. Bloys also mentioned that Pizzolatto is currently “busy working on some other projects,” perhaps referring to his collaboration with Downey.