Matthew Rhys says this is a 'very different' Mason, while Robert Downey Jr.'s wife reveals he almost played the titular character.
It's the return of Perry Mason. The iconic TV attorney from the '50s and '60s is getting the 2020 update on HBO. Executive produced by Robert Downey Jr. and his wife, Susan Downey, among others, the pair is excited to bring the 1957 drama back to the screen.
While fans get to meet a new Mason, Susan revealed to ET that her husband did consider playing the titular character, but the timing was off.
"He did think about it but the timing wasn't going to work out for an eight-episode commitment. So they said, 'Look, let's see if maybe we can find a different Perry,'" she shared. The show then found it's Perry Mason in The Americans' Matthew Rhys.
Based on characters created by author Erle Stanley Gardner, Perry Mason is set in 1931 and is a sort of prequel to the original series. Before Mason was a lawyer, he was a former G.I. turned private investigator. The scripted drama begins on the heels of an unsavory investigation involving a famous comedian, when Mason is hired to solve a perplexing case involving the brutal kidnapping of 1-year-old Charlie Dodson.
"It was very apparent that this was going to be a very new, very different Perry Mason," Rhys told ET.
Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany also stars in the series as charismatic evangelist Sister Alice, who gets wrapped up in a murder mystery. The actress dons a new look for the HBO offering and joked to ET that she was "made up to the gods" with her striking style.
John Lithgow, Juliet Rylance, Chris Chalk, Shea Whigham, Stephen Root and Gayle Rankin also co-star, among others.
Perry Mason premieres June 21 on HBO.