Gotham‘s Chris Chalk and Shea Whigham (Homecoming) are set as series regulars on HBO‘s Perry Mason, a limited series written and executive produced by showrunners Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald. In addition, Nate Corddry (Mom), Veronica Falcon (Queen of the South), Jefferson Mays (I Am The Night), Gayle Rankin (GLOW), and Lili Taylor (Chambers) are set for recurring roles. The seven join a cast that includes previously-announced cast members Matthew Rhys (The Americans), Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), and John Lithgow (Pet Sematary), with Tim Van Patten (Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos, Game of Thrones) set to direct and executive produce.
Set in 1932 Los Angeles, where while the rest of the country recovers from the Great Depression – the city is booming like never before: 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 (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.
HBO’s “Perry Mason”: Cast of Characters
● Rhys’ Mason finds himself at a time in his life when he is living check-to-check as a low-rent private investigator. Haunted by his wartime experiences in France, Mason suffers the effects of a broken marriage and a broken career.
● Maslany’s Sister Alice is a rare sight – the leader of the Radiant Assembly of God, preaching three sermons a day – that’s 21 a week – to a hungry congregation and a radio audience that spans the country. Entertainer, politician, God’s conduit to the City of Angels, Sister Alice wields great power when she speaks, and plans to use it in ways only she can know.
● Lithgow’s Elias Birchard “E.B.” Jonathan is 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.
● Chalk’s Paul Drake is a beat cop with a knack for detective work, and also an outlier, with the added challenge of having to navigate an extremely race-conscious city and a downright oppressive police department. He must weigh the responsibilities of being a husband and father against his desire to seek justice in a controversial and politically loaded case.
● Whigham’s Pete Strickland is hired by Mason as an extra set of eyes on his various investigations (some less than savory). Strickland has a brotherly rapport with Mason and a cheerfully rakish demeanor that wins friends and influences damsels.
● Corddry’s Matthew Dodson is a grocery store owner with a modest income – so no one can explain why his 1-year-old son is targeted for ransom. His picture-perfect marriage begins to crumble as secrets are uncovered on all sides.
● Falcon’s Lupe is a pilot and hard-drinking owner of a speakeasy, a she-demon of the California skies and the 3rd place air speed champion of the world.
● Mays’ Virgil is an attendant at the City Morgue, but envious of the life of a private detective. A friend of Mason’s, he regularly gives him access to bodies (and their personal effects).
● Rankin’s Emily Dodson is the mother of a 1-year-old kidnapping victim, convinced that she is being punished by God for an unstated transgression.
● Taylor’s Birdy McKeegan is a pious and deeply devout woman. Sister Alice’s mother and closest advisor, Birdy keeps things running smoothly at the Pentecostal church.
Robert Downey, Jr. and Susan Downey are set to executive produce alongside Team Downey’s Amanda Burrell, and Joe Horaceck; with Rhys also on board as a producer on the project.