Monday, January 14, 2019

Emmy Winner Matthew Rhys to Play 'Perry Mason' in HBO Limited Series

The Americans star Matthew Rhys has been tapped to star in the long-gestating Perry Mason series at HBO. Production is set to begin on the limited series after a director is found.

The series was first put in development in August 2016 with True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto writing the script and Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr. attached to play the title role. Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald replaced Pizzolatto as writers and showrunners in August 2017 after the latter shifted his attention to the third season of True Detective. Furthermore, Downey Jr.'s feature film commitments meant that he could no longer star in the series. And so, the search for a new lead actor began.

Based on the characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner, the new series is set in 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! When the case of the decade breaks down his door, Perry Mason's relentless pursuit of the truth reveals a fractured city and just maybe, a pathway to redemption for himself.

The series opens with Perry Mason at a time in his life when he is living check-to-check as a low-rent private investigator. He is haunted by his wartime experiences in France and is suffering the effects of a broken marriage.

Executive produces include Downey Jr., Jones, Fitzgerald, Rhys, Susan Downey, Amanda Burrell and Joe Horacek. Team Downey produces in association with HBO.

Rhys is coming off of an Emmy win for his performance in FX's The Americans, which wrapped its sixth and final season in the spring of 2018. He previously starred for five seasons in ABC's Brothers & Sisters. On the feature side, he starred in Steven Spielberg's The Post and recently wrapped production on A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.