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‘Perry Mason’ Series at HBO Casts John Lithgow

John Lithgow has joined the cast of the upcoming “Perry Mason” limited series at HBOVariety has learned. He joins previously announced series lead Matthew Rhys as well as Tatiana Maslany.

Perry Mason” was ordered to series back in March. Based on characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner, the limited series follows the origins of American fiction’s most legendary criminal defense lawyer (Rhys). When a child kidnapping case breaks down his door, Mason’s relentless pursuit of the truth reveals a fractured city and just maybe, a pathway to redemption for himself.

Lithgow will play Elias Birchard “E.B.” Jonathan, described as 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.

Lithgow is a celebrated star of stage and screen. He has won two Tony Awards for his work on Broadway, the first for “The Changing Room” and the second for “Sweet Smell of Success.” On the feature side, he has been nominated for two Academy Awards and has starred in films such as “Footloose,” “Shrek,” and “Dreamgirls.” He will also star in the untitled Roger Ailes movie from Jay Roach due out in December. In television, Lithgow has won six Emmy Awards, including three for his starring role on the multi-cam comedy “3rd Rock From the Sun” and another for his critically-acclaimed work as a guest actor on Showtime’s “Dexter” and his role as Winston Churchill in Netflix’s “The Crown.”

He is repped by UTA, Anonymous Content, and Hansen Jacobson.

“Perry Mason” hails from executive producers Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey under their Team Downey banner, with Team Downey’s Amanda Burrell also executive producing. The project was originally put into development in 2016 with Downey Jr. set for the lead role and Nic Pizzolatto writing. However, it was announced last year that Downey Jr.’s feature schedule would prevent him from starring in the series, while Pizzolatto focused his efforts on Season 3 of “True Detective.” Joe Horacek will also executive produce with Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald onboard as writers, executive producers, and co-showrunners. Rhys will serve as producer in addition to starring. Tim Van Patten has signed on to direct and executive produce the series.

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