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Teased by series producer Robert Downey Jr. earlier in the year, the HBO revival of famed TV drama Perry Mason showed off a pretty hard-boiled look for the classic defense attorney. Now a disheveled private detective played by The Americans' Matthew Rhys, the show looked like a gorgeous detective noir in its first trailer. While that’s still true in the network’s latest look at the series, there’s a darker, more broken side to the case Perry is about to investigate.
See for yourself, thanks to HBO’s latest trailer for Perry Mason:
Executive produced and directed by HBO veteran Tim Van Patten, whose unique style has been employed by shows like Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, and The Wire, Perry Mason’s new television incarnation sees Matthew Rhys’ variant of the protagonist as a broken man. Suffering PTSD after his service in World War I, Perry Mason is a cynical man who is just trying to survive his shady side of the street.
And then the case that changes everything lands in his lap. A kidnapping goes wrong in the worst way possible, leaving a child dead, and a religious order more riled up than ever. That's where fellow Emmy-winner Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany comes in, as her enigmatic Sister Alice has a flock of followers looking for answers. Which means that Perry Mason's focal gumshoe is going to have to work extra hard to crack this caper, before Los Angeles erupts into discord.
Co-starring The Unit’s Robert Patrick, and legendary actor John Lithgow, Perry Mason has just revealed itself to be a detective story that’s going to put its iconic sleuth through the ringer. Even better is the promise that this miniseries is about to take its audience for quite the ride, as each twist of the tale looks to be more sinister than the last.
Rather than just operate as a straightforward pulpy noir, HBO’s Perry Mason looks to bring some extra dimensions to the origin story of this stalwart figure of justice and due process. As most will recall, the man from author Erle Stanley Gardner’s best-selling crime novels was a defense attorney in the hit CBS show that ran from 1957 to 1966.
Raymond Burr played the role in that version, and was more of a defender of justice in the courtroom. But now, HBO’s reinvention of the character could, at best, jumpstart Perry Mason as a newer, bolder version of that franchise for a more modern audience.
For now though, the series is being billed as a “miniseries”, and if you’re a fan of HBO’s recent miniseries Watchmen, you know there’s as much of a chance of this being a one-off as there is a second season. Even if this happens to be a short run for Perry Mason, it looks like the network that redefined Westworld in its own image is about to surprise us all yet again.
Perry Mason premieres on HBO Sunday, June 21st at 9 PM ET.