One good turn deserves another. ABC’s newest project is The Lincoln Lawyer, a courtroom drama based on the 2011 movie and Michael Connelly series of novels. Lionsgate and Lakeshore, who produced the movie, will handle production duties for the as-yet-unordered pilot.
The film was based on Connelly’s book of the same name, which was only the first of four novels to feature the titular attorney Michael “Mickey” Haller. That’s a considerable chunk of existing IP, and Connely’s books have been bestsellers for decades, creating a built-in audience for the show. Connelly periodically appears as himself on ABC’s Castle, opposite a character that he almost certainly helped inspire.
If you haven’t seen the movie, Haller (played by Matthew McConaughey) is an unscrupulous defense attorney who operates his law firm out of his Lincoln Town Car in Los Angeles. Most of his clients are drug dealers and similar criminals (in fact, he’s not unlike Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad). When the son of a wealthy real estate mogul is accused of murder, Haller has to find the truth and represent his client without breaking the ethical standards of his profession.
The shady and smooth-talking Haller would make good fodder for a weekly TV show in the hands of the right actor – though McConaughey’s expensive salary almost certainly disqualifies him. Lionsgate has a track record of excellent dramas, including the similarly-shady executives on Mad Men.
For now ABC has only ordered a script from Connelly and John Romano, who penned the movie. Both writers will share executive producer duties with Joel Gotler and prolific Lakeshore execs Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi. A courtroom drama would be a good fit for ABC, which is currently a little heavy on cop shows and primetime soaps.
When The Lincoln Lawyer hit theaters in March, it was considered a success, both critically and financially. Though operating on a relatively small budget of $40 million, the movie more than doubled that in worldwide ticket sales, and has also done well on DVD and Blu-ray.
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