Tatiana Maslany has joined Matthew Rhys on HBO’s upcoming “Perry Mason” limited series from Team Downey, an individual with knowledge of the production tells TheWrap.
“Boardwalk Empire” alum Tim Van Patten will direct and executive produce the project.
Maslany, who starred for five seasons on BBC America’s “Orphan Black,” will play Sister Alice. The character is described as “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.”
Rhys stars 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.” Rhys, who wrapped up his starring role in FX’s “The Americans” last year, stepped in for “Avengers” star Robert Downey Jr., who left the project as an actor earlier this year. Downey remains on board as an executive producer.
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. 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.
Van Patten was a director, executive producer and writer for HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and also helmed episodes for “The Sopranos” and the pilot for “Game of Thrones.”
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. 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.