Thompson on Hollywood

Yet another TV brand heads to the movies. Will they never learn? But the casting is choice in this case: Robert Downey Jr. may bring Perry Mason to the big screen through Warner Bros. and Team Downey. Like the original Erle Stanley Gardner books--there are 82; Downey and producer David Gambino are looking for a writer to adapt their own original story based on the character--the film would be set in 1930s Los Angeles and would follow defense attorney Mason, his secretary Della Street, private investigator Paul Drake and courtroom adversary Hamilton Burger.

Perry Mason had 3,257 episodes as a radio series (listen here), starting in 1937; 34 telepics; six films in the 1930s; and CBS's TV show with Raymond Burr ran from 1957-1966 (and still plays in syndication; theme below).