“Perry Mason” Gets Series Order at HBO

The Perry Mason feature film turned limited series has been picked up by HBO.

The long-gestating project was first put into motion as a feature film starring Robert Downey Jr. Now that it’s a limited series and original scribe, Nic Pizzolatto has exited the project to focus on True Detective, the series will be penned by Weeds writers Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald. The series will be directed by Tim Van Patten (Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos).

Attached to star in the titular role is The Americans alum Matthew Rhys. This marks Rhys’ first TV project since starring on FX’s spy thriller. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series is based on the Erle Stanley Gardner novels but will focus on Mason’s origin story as a low-rent private investigator, haunted by his wartime experiences and suffering the effects of a broken marriage. But when a child is kidnapped, his pursuit of the truth may offer him a shot at redemption.

Here’s the official logline: “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 original Perry Mason series aired from 1957-66 on CBS, and starred Raymond Burr.