The relentless millennial mewling for more film adaptations of the classic TV shows they’ve only heard tale of continues. “IT IS OUR BIRTHRIGHT,” the wild-eyed children cry in streets littered with overturned, flaming trashcans, marching toward the studios to demand that they turn out yet more contemporary updates of shows like Mister Ed with an appropriately 21st-century attitude. And so, the executives acquiesce once more, hoping to appease them for another day with a new version of Perry Mason starring Robert Downey Jr., one of the actors whose detached, ironic demeanor soothes the savage Gen-Y beast when applied to decades-old properties.
According to Variety, Downey is partnering with Warner Bros. on a new version of the Erle Stanley Gardner-created series about a hard-nosed defense attorney who almost always gets his clients off the hook by being a better detective than the actual detectives, wrangling false evidence to confuse the people he’s investigating, and eventually wringing a confession out of the real culprit. And like Gardner’s original novels, as well as its radio adaptation and the first series of Perry Mason movies, Downey’s take will retain its original, though no doubt heavily stylized 1930s setting—an aesthetic choice that may anger the many, many kids who are demanding that it hew more closely to the Raymond Burr-starring TV show that gave their ancestors such pleasure. Citizens are advised to stay indoors while this information is being disseminated, and await the next wave of classic TV-to-film announcements that will hopefully quell the riots.