HBO has released the first official trailer for executive producer Robert Downey Jr.'s new series on the premium cable network, Perry Mason. Based on characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner, the series stars Matthew Rhys as the titular character, filling in for the role after Downey himself had to drop out (he was forced to depart the project after years of development due to scheduling conflicts). The limited series is set to premiere the first of its eight episode run on Sunday, June 21. Check out the trailer for yourself in the player above and look for the series to arrive next month.
Rhys leads an all-star ensemble for the series which also includes Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), John Lithgow (Dexter), Lili Taylor (Six Feet Under), Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgement Day), Shea Whigham (Joker), Stephen Root (Barry). This reboot by HBO marks the latest adaptation of the character for television, having previously been brought to life in the 1950s with Raymond Burr starring in over 270 episodes. Furthermore seven feature films based on the character were released in the 1930s as well.
The official description for the series reads: "1931, Los Angeles. While the rest of the country struggles through 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 author Erle Stanley Gardner, this drama 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 new Perry Mason has been in the works in some form since 2016, and it's experienced some changes in personnel. Originally the series was going to be a movie and had True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto attached to write the script. It eventually became a series and brought in Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald, and while Downey Jr. had at one point been attached to play Mason, he is now only executive producing, with Rhys taking over the part.
HBO veteran Tim Van Patten, director on countless shows for the network including Sex and the City, Deadwood, The Wire, The Sopranos, The Pacific, Game of Thrones, and Boardwalk Empire, stepped behind the camera for all eight episodes of the new series.
As for Downy Jr. himself, the actor can next be seen in the sports dramedy All-Star Weekend with Jamie Foxx and is attached to return to the part of Sherlock Holmes for a third film at Warner Bros.