John Lithgow joins HBO’s Perry Mason Miniseries
Oscar nominee John Lithgow (Pet Sematary, Terms of Endearment, The Crown) has joined HBO’s Perry Mason limited series, Variety has confirmed. Lithgow joins Emmy winner Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) and Emmy winner Matthew Rhys (The Americans) who will play the title character.
Lithgow, whose recent credits also include Late Night, Trial & Error, Pitch Perfect 3, The Tomorrow Man, and The Accountant, will play Elias Birchard “E.B.” Jonathan, described as a personal attorney at the nadir of his career and a semi-regular employer of 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.
Based on Erle Stanley Gardner’s series of novels, the new Perry Mason will be 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.
The limited series will be directed and executive produced by Tim Van Patten, who is one of HBO‘s longtime collaborators. He has worked on many popular HBO series such as Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, Sex and the City, and Deadwood.
The adaptation is co-written by Rolin Jones and Ron Fritzgerald, who are also set to the series’ showrunners. Robert Downey Jr. (Avengers: Endgame) and Susan Downey has developed the project and will both executive produced through their Team Downey Banner. Jones, Fritzgerald, and Rhy are also executive producers along with Team Downey’s Amanda Burrell, and Joe Horaceck.
The adventures of Perry Mason have been adapted a number of times in various mediums. The Perry Mason character has been the subject of radio plays, films, television movies and perhaps most notably a television series for CBS called Perry Mason that ran from 1957 to 1966.