Perry Mason is making a comeback.
Appearing in countless novels, short stories and the CBS television series starring Raymond Burr from 1957 to 1966, the legendary criminal defense attorney is returning to the courtroom in a new HBO Max series premiering this month but in a new way.
The series will star Matthew Rhys as Mason who in this incarnation is a low-rent private investigator who is dogged by his war-time experiences and a failed marriage. It is not clear whether Mason stays as PI or whether becomes an attorney.
The series will also star John Lithgow as Elias Birchard “E.B.” Jonathan (a struggling attorney and a semi-regular employer of Mason), Juliet Rylance as Della Street (Jonathan’s creative and driven legal secretary), Tatiana Maslany from Orphan Black as Sister Alice McKeegan (the leader of the Radiant Assembly of God).
Here is the synopsis for the first episode: “Los Angeles, 1931. On the heels of an unsavory investigation involving a famous comedian, Perry Mason (Matthew Rhys) – a PI struggling to make ends meet – and his right-hand man Pete Strickland (Shea Whigham) are hired by attorney E.B. Jonathan (John Lithgow), Perry’s mentor, to solve a perplexing case: the brutal kidnapping of one-year-old Charlie Dodson, whose parents Matthew (Nate Corddry) and Emily (Gayle Rankin) were targeted for a $100,000 ransom. After meeting with Herman Baggerly (Robert Patrick), a millionaire elder at the Dodsons’ church, Perry, E.B., and E.B.’s legal secretary Della Street (Juliet Rylance) ponder why a family of unmistakably modest means would be extorted for such a steep price.”
The series debuts on Sunday, June 21st exclusively on HBO.