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How The Lincoln Lawyer Differs From The Book

Fans of author Michael Connelly have had plenty of great content TV enjoy thanks to the recently concluded "Bosch," which was based on the series of novels that introduced the show's star, Harry Bosch. While viewers are disappointed that the program is coming to an end, there is something to look forward to in a new show based on one of Connelly's other well-known novels, "The Lincoln Lawyer." Of course, fans will likely remember that "The Lincoln Lawyer" has been adapted before, as it was previously brought to the big screen in a film starring Matthew McConaughey in 2011. The movie was well-received and is considered one of the foundational films off the McConaissance, which culminated in the actor's appearances in heavily praised projects such as Season 1 of "True Detective" and an eventual Oscar win for "Dallas Buyers Club."

While "The Lincoln Lawyer" film adaptation is widely considered a success, the original novel was a sprawling thriller, the paperback edition of which runs over 500 pages, while the movie didn't quite run for an entire two hours. When a story gets condensed like that, certain things get left by the wayside or changed. Here are the ways that "The Lincoln Lawyer" ended up straying from its source material.

The Lincoln Lawyer is reasonably faithful to the book but changes details about Mickey

One of the most significant differences between the novel version of "The Lincoln Lawyer" and its 2011 screen adaptation comes with its leading man, as the Mickey Haller of the book is of Latinx descent. Choosing McConaughey as the lead changed this aspect of the character's background, although it appears that the upcoming TV series of the same name may rectify this, considering that Manuel Garcia-Rulfo has been announced as the lead, per Deadline.

There are also some subtle changes to Mickey's personality that are evident in the film. For instance, in the movie, the only ex-wife we hear about is district attorney Maggie McPherson, who is played by Marisa Tomei, whereas the books make it clear that he has several. In addition, ThatWasNotInTheFilm.com notes that both the book and film make a point of having Mickey depend on a driver due to a revoked license — most likely because of a DUI — the movie makes his problems with alcohol much more severe.

The Lincoln Lawyer also makes subtle changes to side characters and plot points

In addition, the film adaptation of "The Lincoln Lawyer makes some changes to how events are presented in the story, occasionally to push the story forward faster and other times to affect the viewer's perception of characters. In the book, Jesus Menendez, whose last name is changed to Martinez, tells Mickey that he knows Louis Roulet, the young real estate agent Mickey suspects may be involved in a murder, and even IDs him. However, in the film, Martinez simply tells Mickey repeatedly that he is innocent. The courtroom proceedings are accelerated as well, with fewer speeches than are featured in the book. In addition, ThatWasNotInTheFilm.com observes that the judge has been switched from a no-nonsense, chain-smoking female judge to a more inconspicuous male judge. Likewise, the state attorney, Ted Minton, is portrayed as a somewhat likable character in the movie, whereas in the book, his inexperience is often a source of irritation.

At the end of the day, the changes made do not fundamentally alter the story that the legal thriller tells, and "The Lincoln Lawyer" remains a gripping drama in print and on film. However, it will be intriguing to see how closely the upcoming TV series sticks to the source material.