John Lithgow has joined HBO’s upcoming “Perry Mason” limited series.
Lithgow joins a cast that includes “The Americans” star Matthew Rhys as the title character and “Orphan Black” star Tatiana Maslany as Sister Alice. “Boardwalk Empire” alum Tim Van Patten will direct and executive produce the project.
Lithgow will play Elias Birchard “E.B.” Jonathan. HBO describes the character as “a personal attorney at the nadir of his career and a semi-regular employer of private investigator, Perry Mason. A mentor and a 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.”
Here’s the official logline for the series: 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.
The series is based on the characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner. Raymond Burr starred as the title character on CBS’ “Perry Mason,” which ran from 1957 to 1966.
“Perry Mason” has been in development since 2016, with “True Detective” creator Nic Pizzolatto originally on board to write the script, before departing to work on the third season of his HBO drama. Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald, who were brought in to replace him, will serve as showrunners.
Robert Downey Jr. will executive produce alongside Team Downey’s Susan Downey and Amanda Burrell. Joe Horacek serves as an executive producer as well.