Streaming service Hulu has just announced they're moving forward with a John Grisham shared universe. As it sounds, they'll be developing multiple television shows adapted from different Grisham novels for what they're calling the "Grisham Universe." They'll be starting with companion series for The Rainmaker and Rogue Lawyer, with the potential of doing more in the future. The stories will be set in the same universe and will occasionally intersect, but the goal by the company is for each show to stand on their own. Viewers will be able to watch both TV shows separately or even go back and forth without much consequence.
From ABC Signature Studios, the series in the "Grisham Universe" will be written and executive produced by Michael Seitzman and Jason Richman. John Grisham himself is also serving as an executive producer, along with Christina Davis of Maniac Productions. The approach to begin with two separate shows set in the same universe is the same strategy Hulu is using for their upcoming sci-fi TV series as well. Based on the Wild Cards novels from George R. R. Martin, two series sharing this same universe are in the works from writer and executive producer Andrew Miller.
One of the two upcoming Grisham-based shows is The Rainmaker, based on the 1995 book by the same name. It tells the story of a recent law school graduate who finds himself a bit over his head when he uncovers a major scheme by a powerful corporation. Of course, the Hulu series won't be the first to give the book the live-action treatment. The legal drama was quickly developed as a feature film in 1997 by director Francis Ford Coppola, starring such names as Matt Damon, Danny Glover, Claire Danes, Danny DeVito, and Jon Voight.
The other confirmed show for the "Grisham Universe" is based on a more recent novel from the author. Released in 2015, Rogue Lawyer is bit of a darker story which follows another lawyer by the name of Sebastian Rudd. He's known for defending people most other attorneys wouldn't dare, such as a Mixed martial arts fighter who killed a referee after a fight and a Satan-worshipping teenager accused of murdering two girls. In the midst of taking on these bizarre cases, Rudd is contacted by a serial kidnapper involved in human trafficking. He tells the lawyer he knows the whereabouts of the assistant chief of police's missing daughter, leading Rudd down his most dangerous road yet.
As it's early in development, there's no official streaming release date attached to either of these upcoming TV shows. It is presumed they will be premiering at or around the same time, as the shows are designed so they can be watched together if the viewer chooses to do so. It will certainly be interesting to see how they cross over, but it's appealing to know watching one won't require first seeing the other. Depending on the success of how these shows do will likely determine if additional novels from Grisham's body of work will also be joining Hulu's "Grisham Universe." This information comes to us courtesy of TheWrap.