HBO is officially reviving Perry Mason. The pay cabler has formally ordered a limited series based on legendary fictional criminal defense lawyer, with The Americans’ Matthew Rhys taking on the title role. Sopranos vet Tim Van Patten, meanwhile, has signed on as director and EP.
As we reported back in January, Rhys — who will also serve as a producer on the aptly-titled Perry Mason — will play Mason at a time in his life when he is living check-to-check as a low-rent private investigator. He also finds himself haunted by his wartime experiences in France and is suffering the effects of a broken marriage.
Here’s the project’s logline:
1932, Los Angeles. While the rest of the country recovers from the Great Depression, this city is booming! Oil! Olympic Games! Talking Pictures! Evangelical Fervor! And a child kidnapping gone very, very wrong! Based on characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner, this limited series follows the origins of American Fiction’s most legendary criminal defense lawyer, Perry Mason. When the case of the decade breaks down his door, Mason’s relentless pursuit of the truth reveals a fractured city and just maybe, a pathway to redemption for himself.
The Emmy winner follows in the footsteps of the late Raymond Burr, who starred as Mason for nine seasons on CBS’ Perry Mason series (1957–1966) and 26 subsequent TV movies (1985–1993).
Rolin Jones (The Exorcist) and Ron Fitzgerald (Westworld) will pen the adaptation and serve as co-showrunners and EPs. Additional EPs include Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey, Amanda Burrell and Joe Horacek.