Inside the Mickey Haller Universe: Is Netflix's 'The Lincoln Lawyer' Based on the Movie?

Is 'The Lincoln Lawyer' series based on the movie? The series and the movie chronicle a defense attorney's wildest shenanigans. Read on for more.

Leila Kozma - Author

May 24 2022, Published 11:07 a.m. ET

Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as Mickey Haller
Source: Netflix

David E. Kelley's latest project for Netflix resurrects the spirit of Mickey Haller, the lawyer nicknamed after his preferred consultation method: holding court inside his Lincoln Town Car.

Starring Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Neve Campbell, and Becki Newton in the lead roles, The Lincoln Lawyer casts light on the latest happenings of the defense attorney with enough charm to put Hank Moody, the protagonist of Californication, to shame.

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'The Lincoln Lawyer' shares the same protagonist as the 2011 movie with the same title. But is it based on 'The Lincoln Lawyer'?

Netflix's The Lincoln Lawyer is an adaptation of The Brass Verdict, a best-selling crime-fiction thriller by Michael Connelly. The book is the second volume of the Mickey Haller series, which is comprised of The Lincoln Lawyer, The Brass Verdict, The Reversal, The Fifth Witness, The Gods of Guilt, and The Law Of Innocence. The 2011 movie starring Matthew McConaughey draws on The Lincoln Lawyer, the first volume of the Mickey Haller series.

Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as Mickey Haller
Source: Netflix
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To make matters slightly more complicated, Mickey Haller's character also appears in several other books Michael penned. Michael has written more than 30 novels over the years, providing plenty of material for filmmakers eager to get their teeth into meaty storylines peppered with tons of intrigue.

In conclusion: The Lincoln Lawyer (the 2011 movie) and the Netflix series operate in the same fictional universe, with both exploring the rare adventures of Mickey Haller, aka the Lincoln Lawyer. The movie and the TV series draw on different source materials, however.

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Christopher Gorham as Trevor Elliot, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as Mickey Haller, and Michael Graziadei as Golantz
Source: Netflix

Season 1 of 'The Lincoln Lawyer' ends on a blood-chilling cliffhanger.

Spoiler alert: The rest of the article contains spoilers for Season 1 of The Lincoln Lawyer.

In Season 1 of The Lincoln Lawyer, Mickey (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) puts unprecedented effort into proving that his client, Trevor Elliott (Christopher Gorham), is not guilty of murder.

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Mickey builds his argument on a seemingly minor factor: the amount of time it would have taken Trevor to hide the gun and the blood-soaked clothes after killing his wife, Lara (Katy Erin), and her paramour, a yoga instructor named Jan Rilz (Johann Urb). Mickey proves Trevor's innocence in court, scoring yet another legal victory.

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A certified slimeball, it turns out that Trevor actually did kill his wife and Jan, hid the evidence using a drone, and contacted a high-flying defense lawyer to dodge jail time. The Season 1 finale of The Lincoln Lawyer exposes the ruse, casting doubt on Mick's moral standing. Carol DuBois (Heather Mazur), a relative of Jan's, decides to take matters into her own hand in the Season 1 finale, shooting and killing Trevor in an attempt to serve justice outside the court.

Season 2 of 'The Lincoln Lawyer' could explore the aftermath of the shooting.

Netflix put in a 10-episode order for Season 1 of The Lincoln Lawyer in the first half of 2021 after CBS axed the program because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the streamer has yet to share an update on the future of the show.

Season 1 of The Lincoln Lawyer dropped on the streaming platform on May 13, 2022, instantly garnering raving reviews and strong viewership ratings. The charismatic protagonist, the gripping storylines, and the fast-paced editing are some factors that make the show eminently renewable. Let's keep an eye out for further announcements about Season 2.

Season 1 of The Lincoln Lawyer is available on Netflix now.

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