One of the biggest Hollywood stars Robert Downey Jr may soon make his way back to TV screens. According to Variety, the Iron Man actor has signed a new project for HBO and the True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto, but there is no confirmation about his role or the extent to which the actor would be involvement in the new show.

Nonetheless, fans are hopeful that Downey Jr will also star in the drama series, which according to sources will be based on his long-gestating Perry Mason reboot – a film feature with Warner Bros Pictures. The actor's wife and producing partner, Susan Downey of Team Downey is expected to be the executive producer of the show along with the actor. Pizzolatto is said to be working on the script.

Will the Tropic Thunder star play lead as the unorthodox investigator/defence attorney created by detective fiction writer Erle Stanley Gardner? HBO has refused to comment on the rumours.

According to Deadline, the project will be on the lines of short-run instalments in the vein of True Detective, which had eight-episode seasons and will be worked on in keeping with the actor's schedule. Downey Jr was last seen on the small screen 15 years ago in Ally McBeal as a love interest for Calista Flockhart's lead character.

The project would fit in with Pizzolatto's overall deal with HBO, which also covers a third season of True Detective. Following rumours that the show was axed after its second season, the network's new programming president Casey Bloys cleared the air, confirming that the anthology "is not dead". She added that Pizzolatto was "busy working on some other projects" at the moment. Could she have been talking about this project with Downey?

Robert Downey Jr
Robert Downey Jr was expected to make a film based on the fictional detective Perry Mason Ian Gavan/Getty Images