Grisham Universe

Calling all dads! The world of John Grisham is coming to Hulu! It was only a matter of time before the concept of a “cinematic universe” came to TV, and now here we are – with The Grisham Universe. Two different new Hulu shows inspired by Grisham’s books – The Rainmaker and Rogue Lawyer – will be both interconnected and also stand-alone. Somehow.

While the TV crossover is nothing new – see the numerous Law & Order crossovers, for instance – Hulu’s new Grisham Universe is something different. As THR reveals, Hulu is teaming with author John Grisham to create ” two scripted series — The Rainmaker and Rogue Lawyer — that will share one storyline with the potential to grow the franchise with other shows.”

The two shows will be independent of each other, but also feature “intersecting storylines that create a new template uniquely designed for Hulu’s platform.” The shows will be designed so that audiences can watch “vertically, viewing all of one without the other and be told a story,” but also “so that a viewer can watch horizontally, navigating from episode 101 of The Rainmaker to episode 101 of Rogue Lawyer, then episode 102 of Rainmaker to 102 of Rogue Lawyer,” and so on. Characters will cross-over as well.

This certainly sounds ambitious, and will no doubt appeal to dads everywhere, who love to pick up paperback copies of Grisham’s books at the airport. Here’s the synopsis of Grisham’s The Rainmaker, which was published in 1995. The book was previously adapted into a film from Francis Ford Coppola, starring Matt Damon:

It’s summer in Memphis.  The sweat is sticking to Rudy Baylor’s shirt and creditors are nipping at his heels.  Once he had aspirations of breezing through law school and punching his ticket to the good life.  Now he doesn’t have a job or a prayer…except for one: an insurance dispute that leaves a family devastated and opens the door for a lawsuit, if Rudy can find a way to file it.

By the time Rudy gets to court, a heavyweight corporate defense team is there to meet him. And suddenly he’s in over his head, plunged into a nightmare of lies and legal maneuverings.  A case that started small is exploding into a thunderous million-dollar war of nerves, skill and outright violence–a fight that could cost one young lawyer his life, or turn him into the biggest rainmaker in the land….

And now here’s the synopsis of Rogue Lawyer, published in 2015:

On the right side of the law—sort of—Sebastian Rudd is not your typical street lawyer. His office is a customized bulletproof van, complete with Wi-Fi, a bar, a small fridge, and fine leather chairs. He has no firm, no partners, and only one employee: his heavily armed driver, who also so happens to be his bodyguard, law clerk, confidant, and golf caddie. Sebastian drinks small-batch bourbon and carries a gun. He defends people other lawyers won’t go near: a drug-addled, tattooed kid rumored to be in a satanic cult; a vicious crime lord on death row; a homeowner arrested for shooting at a SWAT team that mistakenly invaded his house. Why these clients? Because Sebastian believes everyone is entitled to a fair trial—even if he has to bend the law to secure one.

I’m not sure how you can make these two stories cross-over – other than the fact that they both feature lawyers, like most of Grisham’s work. But I’ll let Hulu worry about that problem.

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