‘The Lincoln Lawyer’: The Netflix Series Is Based On a Book

TL; DR: 

  • Manuel Garcia-Rulfo plays lawyer Mickey Haller in the new Netflix series The Lincoln Lawyer.
  • The show is based on a book by Michael Connelly titled The Brass Verdict
  • Connelly’s Harry Bosch character appears in The Brass Verdict but he won’t be in The Lincoln Lawyer. 

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Mickey Haller is on the case. Manuel Garcia-Rulfo plays a Los Angeles lawyer struggling to get back on his feet after a personal crisis derailed his career in Netflix’s new series The Lincoln Lawyer. It’s based on a book by crime novelist Michael Connelly. 

‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ is based on a book by Michael Connelly

Mickey Haller made his print debut in the 2005 novel The Lincoln Lawyer. That book was turned into a 2011 movie starring Matthew McConaughey. Rather than retell the story previously covered in the film, Netflix’s version of The Lincoln Lawyer adapts Connelly’s second Mickey Haller book, 2008’s The Brass Verdict. (Both Prime Video’s Bosch and Freevee’s new series Bosch: Legacy also feature characters created by Connelly.)

Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as Mickey Haller, Jazz Raycole as Izzy leaning against a Lincoln SUV in the Netfilx series 'The Lincoln Lawyer'
[L-R] Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as Mickey Haller, Jazz Raycole as Izzy in Netflix’s ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ | Lara Solanki/Netflix © 2022

In both the book and the show, Haller inherits a murdered defense attorney’s practice. That includes a high-profile murder case involving a wealthy man accused of killing his wife. While the series diverges from the book in some ways, it sticks to the source material in one key way that also helps distinguish it from the McConaughey movie.

The show’s creators (who include The Practice producer David E. Kelley) were “dealing with an iconic movie with Matthew McConaughey,” Connelly recently told the Tampa Bay Times.

“How do you make it your own?” he said. “They went back to the books. In the books, Mickey Haller is Mexican American. His mother is from Mexico.” Garcia-Rulfo is Mexican.  

Will ‘Bosch’ and ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ overlap?

In Connelly’s books, Haller and detective Harry Bosch are half-brothers and the two sometimes work together on their respective cases. In The Brass Verdict, Harry Bosch is in charge of investigating the murder of the lawyer whose practice Haller takes over. 

However, Titus Welliver, who plays Harry in Bosch and Bosch: Legacy, won’t be making any surprise appearances in the Netflix series. Nor will The Lincoln Lawyer star Garcia-Rulfo be popping up in Freevee’s new show. Each is made by a different company Connelly explained, which means there won’t be any crossover.

The Netflix series is about redemption, EP says

When the Netflix series begins, it’s been a year since Haller’s been in a courtroom. He stepped away from his practice after developing an addiction to painkillers following a surfing accident. Though he’s now in recovery, his substance abuse damaged both his career and his relationship with his two ex-wives (played by Scream’s Neve Campbell and Becki Newton) and his teen daughter (Krista Warner). The 10-episode first season follows him as he tries to overcome his past mistakes while juggling multiple cases. 

“Mickey really has this deep-seated sense of right and wrong, and the first season is very much a redemption story,” The Lincoln Lawyer executive producer Ted Humphrey told TVInsider.

The Lincoln Lawyer premieres May 13 on Netflix.

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