Matthew Rhys Takes Over Title Role From Robert Downey Jr. in HBO’s ‘Perry Mason’ Limited Series

The Marvel star bowed out of the lead role earlier this year

Last Updated: January 14, 2019 @ 12:27 PM

Matthew Rhys will star in HBO’s long-gestating “Perry Mason” limited series.

Rhys, who last year wrapped up his starring role in FX’s “The Americans,” replaces Robert Downey Jr., who departed the project as an actor earlier this year, though he is remaining on board as an executive producer.

Rhys will star as Perry Mason “at a time in his life when he is living check-to-check as a low-rent private investigator.  Mason is haunted by his wartime experiences in France and is suffering the effects of a broken marriage.”

The logline for the series, per HBO is: 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.  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 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 pen the script, before departing to work on the third season of his HBO drama, which premiered Sunday night. Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald, who were brought in to replace him, will serve as showrunners. Downey will executive produce alongside Team Downey’s Susan Downey and Amanda Burrell.