Decades before the likes of Law & Order, there was Perry Mason, a legal drama series that ran for nine seasons in the 50s and 60s, and which became one of the five most popular shows on TV. It’s been revived before, but it wasn’t really a success.
That hasn’t dissuaded HBO, though. It’s been trying to get a Perry Mason reboot off the ground for ages, and if you vaguely remember hearing something about this previously, it’s because True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto was on board at one point, with Robert Downey Jr keen to star. Sadly, all of that fell apart a while ago, with Pizzloatto deciding to concentrate on making True Detective season 3 a winner, and Downey Jr committing to more feature films over the next few years.
But it’s still happening, and here’s everything we know so far…
Perry Mason cast
As HBO remained keen to get this TV reboot off the ground, Downey Jr, who is still a producer on the series, confirmed over on Twitter that Matthew Rhys would indeed be the new Perry Mason in the limited series…
Rhys has recently completed a long run on FX’s spy thriller series, The Americans, for which he won an Emmy Award.
It’s been announced that Tatiana Maslany has joined the cast as Sister Alice, “a rare sight – the leader of the Radiant Assembly of God, preaching three sermons a day (21 a week!) 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.”
Perry Mason plot
The character of Perry Mason, an iconic investigator and defense attorney, has proved popular over various mediums since the 1930s, when he was created by detective fiction author Erle Stanley Gardner. Since then, he’s appeared in over 80 books and stories, led nearly 26 films and had his own comic strip. Now, it looks like Mason will finally be back on the small screen in 2019, which is shaping up to be a big year for the man playing him – Rhys has several feature films in the bank, including A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood with Tom Hanks, and a highly anticipated new flick from Bourne Ultimatum and Side Effects writer Scott Z. Burns.
The Perry Mason reboot series is currently in the hands of Ron Fitzgerald and Rolin Jones, who both worked on Friday Night Lights and Weeds.
Here’s the official synopsis, via Deadline:
The reimagined Perry Mason 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! 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 (Rhys). 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.
Perry Mason release date
HBO hasn’t set a release date for the Perry Mason reboot, but here in the UK it’s very likely to air on Sky Atlantic when it arrives.