Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Not exactly what I meant... ABC to turn The Lincoln Lawyer into a TV series.

When I said that I wanted The Lincoln Lawyer (based on one of five Mickey Haller novels penned by Michael Connelly) to become the first in a series, I was referring to a big-screen franchise.  Still, the apparent choice of ABC and Lionsgate to turn the relatively successful Matthew McConaughey drama into a television series is a pretty smart one.  And frankly, as I find myself watching less and less network television, it is good to know that there will be at least one network drama I can attach myself to in the next couple years.  Still, this feels like a missed opportunity.  The film industry could use a franchise or two of this nature: R-rated, starring adults, intended for adults, etc.  While I have no love for the original films or the marketing campaign thus far, I am indeed rooting for David Fincher's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo for just this reason.  Without going into spoilers, things are definitely left open for an ongoing franchise at the conclusion of The Lincoln Lawyer.  Most, if not all (that would be telling) of the major stars (which included McConaughey, William H. Macy, Bryan Cranston, Josh Lucas, and Marisa Tomei) are left in a position to return for a would-be sequel.

Point being, the world needs more quality adult genre films of this nature, and the defection of the franchise to television (where it will be just another legal drama) is a loss for those who still relish the idea of seeing this kind of melodrama on the big screen.  As I said in my review, "Brad Furman's picture plays like a high-class HBO pilot for the adventures of Los Angeles defense attorney Mick Haller. But if that were true, I would gladly watch each and every episode."  So it apparently was, and I will still gladly watch each and every episode.  But now that it's actually going to television, I can't help but feel that it is another slight blow big-studio adult genre fare.  What do you think?  Would you watch a Mickey Haller episodic series?  Would you have preferred to see these on the big screen, or will you take it in whatever form it comes?  Since we can presume that McConaughey and company will not be returning, who would you cast for the main roles?

Scott Mendelson  


Film Intel said...

I'm absolutely with you here. The legal thriller seems to be a sub-genre that's died a death and it would have been nice to see this go on to revive it as a big-screen series. It's good that the characters are being given a place to continue and, like you, I'll probably watch along when it makes it over to these shores but I would have much rather seen the majority of that cast back for another go with a more experienced director behind them.

John McDonagh said...



I found these posts, which seem in the same vein as what your musing pointed to; that the more prolific film franchises derive from children's literature.

I find it odd that attempts to produce prolific film franchises based on prose adventure fiction written for adults has not panned out that well in recent, post-1950's, decades (e.g. only two Dirk Pitt films [PG and PG-13 at that, a compromise], no Tom Clancy films in theaters in the last ten years or so [the Tom Clancy films that did reach theaters in the 1990's and in 2002 mostly received PG or PG-13 ratings])......... (If anyone brings up Rambo as a counterexample, the makers of First Blood had no initial intent for a sequel.)

(Of course, the above mostly applies to the Occidental situation; the Condor Heroes and other Wuxia novels may have had many adaptations......)

However, Shaft debuted in a novel by Ernest Tidyman, and Tidyman wrote four to five other such novels. Shaft eventually had three sequels, and all the theatrically released films received R-ratings.

John McDonagh said...



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