John Lithgow Joins HBO's Perry Mason Limited Series Opposite Matthew Rhys

John Lithgow Perry Mason

HBO’s Perry Mason project has hooked another big, Emmy-winning fish: John Lithgow has signed on to the limited series, TVLine has learned.

Based on characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner, Perry Mason will star Matthew Rhys (The Americans) as the titular fictional defense lawyer. In 1932 Los Angeles, a down-on-his-luck Mason — currently working as a low-rent private investigator — receives the case of the decade, and his “relentless pursuit of the truth reveals a fractured city and, just maybe, a pathway to redemption for himself,” per the official logline.

Lithgow will co-star as Elias Birchard “E.B.” Jonathan, a personal attorney (and semi-regular employer of Mason) who is at a low point in his career. A mentor and father figure to Mason, E.B. is handed the kind of case he hasn’t seen in years: a high-profile parallel investigation to the Los Angeles Police Department involving a child kidnapping.

The actor also joins Orphan Black alum Tatiana Maslany, who was previously cast as the powerful preacher Sister Alice. Tim Van Patten (Boardwalk Empire), Robert Downey Jr. and wife Susan Downey are among the show’s executive producers, as is Rhys.

Lithgow’s recent small-screen credits include Trial & Error and The Crown, the latter of which earned him an Emmy win and Golden Globe nomination for his work as Winston Churchill.