Downey, who is an executive producer on the project, took to Twitter earlier this week to share the news in the form of a photo of the project script bearing Rhys' name.
"Now it seems to me the place to start is at the beginning."— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) January 14, 2019
“And it seems to me the beginning of any great project is casting my new best friend Matthew Rhys.”
Robert Downey Jr.
Executive Producer pic.twitter.com/jZl6Mm0GGx
It's been a long road for the Perry Mason reboot. The project was first announced as a feature film back in 2018 with Nic Pizzolatto named to write the script. Pizzolatto was replaced by Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald on the project a year later. Downey had been attached to star in the project, but, as this tweet confirms, that role will now be taken up by The Americans alum.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Rhys will also produce the project, which is now a series. Downey will executive produce alongside Team Downey partners Susan Downey and Amanda Burrell. Jones and Fitzgerald will be series showrunners.
The series is based off of characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner and is set to follow the titular character was a legendary criminal defense lawyer. Most fans are more familiar with the character from the CBS series of the same name that ran from 1957 to 1966 starring Raymond Burr. Instead, HBO's series will see the character as a low-rent private investigator haunted by his past. You can check out HBO's official description below.
"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."
There is currently no premiere date for Perry Mason. As for other Team Downey projects, The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, starring Downey as Doctor Dolittle, is set for a January 2020 release while the third installment of the Sherlock Holmes franchise is slated for December 2020.
Are you excited for the Perry Mason reboot? Let us know in the comments below.