Robert Downey Jr., 'True Detective' Creator Teaming for HBO Drama

'Iron Man' star would return to television for first time in 15 years for Nic Pizzolatto series

Robert Downey Jr. and 'True Detective' creator Nic Pizzolatto will team up for a new drama heading to HBO. Credit: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images Entertainment

Robert Downey Jr. and True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto will team up for a new drama heading to HBO. Downey Jr. will both star and executive produce the new series, marking the Iron Man actor's first television role in nearly 15 years.

According to Variety, like the first two seasons of True Detective, Pizzolatto will pen the series' script. While HBO didn't confirm the project nor provide specifics about the drama, sources tell Variety that the series could be connected to the Perry Mason reboot Downey Jr. has been trying to spearhead for years.

At HBO's Television Critics Association panel in late July, the network's programming president Casey Bloys reiterated that while Pizzolatto was not actively working on True Detective's third season, the acclaimed anthology "is not dead" despite its not-as-stellar second season. Bloys also suggested that the series could continue on "with someone else writing it" besides Pizzolatto, who has an exclusive deal with HBO until 2018.

At the time of panel, it was also revealed that Pizzolatto hadn't given much thought to True Detective Season 3's plot because he was "working on some other projects," though HBO didn't let slip then whether one of those was the Downey Jr. collaboration.

The Pizzolatto/Downey Jr. project is potentially some positive news for HBO following the cancellation of Vinyl and the revelation that Game of Thrones will end following its eighth season. The network also has the upcoming Jon Stewart series in the pipeline, along with a new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, the television version of viral hit High Maintenance and the just-announced drama about Columbian drug lord Griselda Blanco starring Jennifer Lopez.