Just yesterday, Collider reported that Amazon had inked a deal for Stieg Larsson‘s Lisbeth Salander books, including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and according to a new report from THR, the streamer has set its sights on another literary hero — Mickey Haller, who is otherwise known as The Lincoln Lawyer.
Before we dive into Amazon’s burgeoning literary strategy, let’s back up first. According to author Michael Connelly, CBS had been days away from starting production on its own Lincoln Lawyer series starring Logan Marshall-Green (The Invitation) when the town in which it was supposed to shoot shut down due to the pandemic. “And then, a month later, [CBS] decided not to go forward with it,” said Connelly.
Why was CBS so apprehensive about proceeding with the high-profile legal drama, which hailed from Emmy winner David E. Kelley? Well, The Lincoln Lawyer would’ve been a bit different from the network’s standard crime procedurals in that the show was going to be serialized rather than episodic, so viewers would have to watch each episode to make sense of the story rather than be able to drop in and out of the show as they pleased.
“It was a bit risky for them and they decided, in this environment, to not do any risky programming, and so they killed it basically,” Connelly explained on an upcoming episode of the Bestsellers podcast from Natalie Jamieson and Phil Williams. “It was a shock. I mean, we had actors set, we had directors set, we had sets being built. It was right on the precipice of becoming a reality when this happened. So it’s very disappointing.”
Though CBS opted not to proceed with the show, other suitors quickly came calling, including Amazon. The streamer may be especially interested due to the fact that it already has Bosch, which is on its sixth season, and is based on Connelly’s series of Harry Bosch books. In fact, The Lincoln Lawyer is Bosch’s half-brother, which would allow for the two shows to have crossover episodes.
“To me, that is a good sales pitch because then you could have these people and the universe. Yeah, you could have people crossing paths and all that kind of stuff. It’d be fun to do,” said Connelly, who previously saw The Lincoln Lawyer adapted for the big screen, with Matthew McConaughey playing the title character.
I expect Amazon to get a deal done for The Lincoln Lawyer, if only because it appeals to the same book-loving audience to whom the streamer has been focused on catering. In addition to Bosch, Amazon also has a Jack Ryan series starring John Krasinski, and based on Tom Clancy‘s bestselling series. In recent months, Amazon announced new shows centered around Lee Child‘s military investigator Jack Reacher and James Patterson’s D.C. detective Alex Cross, with hacker heroine Lisbeth Salander joining the guys as of Tuesday. If only Amazon could pry Lincoln Rhyme and Kay Scarpetta (in development as of 2018) away from NBC, then it would really control the adult publishing world’s top characters.
Frankly, this strategy makes a ton of sense for Amazon, as it’s hard to find good IP out there these days, and bestselling book series have reliable fan bases. Seriously, when I go to the airport and see a new Alex Cross mystery on the shelves, I don’t need to read the book jacket for a plot synopsis, nor do I care about the price. It’s a blind buy for me, and, I imagine, millions of others around the world. Amazon could cast O.J. Simpson as Alex Cross and I’d probably watch the show. So the streamer is smart to embrace this Dream Team of literary heroes, who will surely bring new eyeballs to Prime Video. Of course, only time will tell if this strategy pays off, but I think Amazon is on the right track here.
If you’re curious about the Lincoln Lawyer movie from 2011, click here for Matt Goldberg‘s original review.