HBO and executive producer Robert Downey, Jr. kept their word when they teased something was coming for those waiting for an extended look at Perry Mason. On Thursday, the cable network released our first extended look at dogged investigator (Matthew Rhys, The Americans) already on the case, along with a whole lot of people looking to stop that from going any further. Written by showrunners Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald and based on Erle Stanley Gardner's word, the limited series follows the origins of one of fiction's most legendary criminal defense lawyers, Perry Mason (Rhys). When the case of the decade breaks down his door, Mason's relentless pursuit of the truth will take him through a fractured city and quite possibly down a pathway towards redemption for himself.
Set in 1932 Los Angeles, when the city finds itself booming like never before, while the rest of the country recovers from the Great Depression. Oil, the Olympic Games, the advent of talking pictures, evangelical fervor, and a child kidnapping that goes horrifically wrong all make for a deadly mix. HBO's Perry Mason also stars Tatiana Maslany, John Lithgow, Chris Chalk, Shea Whigham, Nate Corddry, Veronica Falcon, Jefferson Mays, Gayle Rankin, and Lili Taylor. Tim Van Patten (Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones) is set to direct, and executive produces alongside Jones, Fitzgerald, Downey, Jr. and Susan Downey as well as Team Downey's Amanda Burrell, and Joe Horaceck; with Rhys also on board as a producer on the project.
A Look at The Cast of Characters in HBO's Perry Mason
Rhys' Mason finds himself at a time in his life when he is living check-to-check as a low-rent private investigator. Haunted by his wartime experiences in France, Mason suffers the effects of a broken marriage and a broken career. Maslany's Sister Alice is the leader of the Radiant Assembly of God, preaching three sermons a day to a hungry congregation and a radio audience that spans the country. Entertainer, politician, God's conduit to the City of Angels, Sister Alice wields great power when she speaks, and plans to use it in ways only she can know. Lithgow's Elias Birchard "E.B." Jonathan is a personal attorney at the nadir of his career and a semi-regular employer of Mason. 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 LAPD involving a case of child kidnapping. Chalk's Paul Drake is a beat cop, husband, and father with a knack for detective work, and also an outlier, with the added challenge of having to navigate an extremely race-conscious city and an oppressive police department.