After six seasons on The Americans, Matthew Rhys finally took home an Emmy for playing the saddest man on TV, and he’s now officially making the move from FX to HBO. The premium cable channel’s upcoming Perry Mason limited series, which will be produced by Robert Downey Jr.’s Team Downey production company after the Iron Man actor circled the role for a good decade — beginning with when it was meant to be Warner Bros. production and later in 2016 when HBO began pursuing the Perry Mason character as written by Nic Pizzolatto, who’s now obviously got his hands full with True Detective
Deadline reports the news, along with details about the storyline, which finds Mason in hard times after a failed marriage. He’s also contending with haunting wartime memories from France and living from paycheck-to-paycheck as a P.I.:
[T]he reimagined Perry Mason is 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, the 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.
One would imagine that Downey Jr. would have played the role long ago, had he not been sidetracked by his enduring role of a lifetime in the MCU. Of course, Mason was iconically embodied for decades by the late Raymond Burr in over 20 TV movies after a nine-season run on CBS. The HBO limited series aims to honor this legacy with a high-powered team to ensure quality treatment. Rolin Jones (Friday Night Lights, Boardwalk Empire, The Exorcist) and Ron Fitzgerald (Westworld, Weeds, Friday Night Lights) join as co-showrunners and writers, although a director has not yet been announced. Nor has HBO hinted at a debut date for the series, but we’re guessing it might be part of a Sunday night lineup after Game of Thrones rolls to a bloody end.