New ‘Perry Mason’ Series Starring Matthew Rhys Coming To HBO

 | Kevin Williams

HBO ordered a series re-boot of The Perry Mason Show starring Matthew Rhys as the criminal defense attorney Perry Mason. The original show ran on CBS from 1957 to 1966 and starred Raymond Burr. The new version takes place in 1932 Los Angeles, and centers around the Mason character. The first case the show will feature is a high profile child kidnapping. In this re-booted version the main character is working as a private investigator, and living ‘paycheck to paycheck.’ The show will be directed by Tim Van Patten, who is part of the Van Patten acting clan.

The late actor Dick Van Patten, is his half brother, he’s an uncle to Vincent Van Patten, and George Clooney’s first wife Talia Balsom. Actor Robert Downey Jr, and his wife Susan are the producers of the series, under their ‘Team Downey’ production company. The series was first slotted for HBO in 2016, with Downey playing Mason. The actor’s shooting schedule was a conflict with the shooting schedule of the series, auditions were held and Matthew Rhys was cast in the role.

Van Patten has stellar directing credits, including 20 episodes of ‘The Sopranos’ and the pilot for ‘Game of Thorns.’ He also was an actor, starring in ‘The White Shadow’ with Ken Howard playing ‘Salami.’ Rhys is an Emmy winning actor that starred in the TV ‘The Americans’ from 2013 to 2018, playing ‘Kevin Walker’ a Russian spy. He also was in ‘Brothers and Sisters.’ Rhys and his ‘The Americans’ co-star Keri Russell have been a couple since 2014, and have a son age 3. Rhys talked to Ellen in 2015 about how he is able to deliver such a good American accent. He said he works on it regularly, and when he’s playing an American character, he likes to stay in character ‘as long as possible, to maintain the accent.