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Exclusive : Story and Character details for The Firm TV series

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I’m a huge fan of John Grisham’s tree-sacrificing reads. I love “The Client” and I’m rather fond of “A Time to Kill” too (it might be the one that offers the big smack in the gut emotionally), but storywise, “The Firm” is a killer yarn.

Later made into a fairly impressive movie by Sydney Pollack, “The Firm” is the tale of Mitch McMeere (played in the film by Tom Cruise), a young law grad who is hired by a prestigious and outwardly slimey Memphis law firm who ultimately force their newest employee into all sorts of shoddy dealings.

It’s when McDeere learns that the firm may be behind a recent slate of murders that he decides to “talk” – but not necessarily play their game either – to the FBI (in particular one Wayne Tarrance, played in the film by Ed Harris). Pretty soon McDeere and wife Abby’s (Jeanne Tripplehorn in the pic) marriage and lives are in danger as the young partner’s associates become aware of his newfound knowledge of their past dealings. Great read. It’s the one that really set Grisham off as a writer.

And now NBC’s bringing “The Firm” to TV.

It’s Ten Years Later. The McDeere’s are now out of witness protection. We’re in Washington now, not Mephis.

Mitch McDeere (Josh Lucas) and wife Abby have recovered from their ordeal with the shonky mob-tied law firm he worked for and consequently ratted on. Mitch now runs his own law firm with brother Ray (a private investigator; in jail in the first film), played by Callum Keith Rennie, and Ray’s girlfriend – and the late Eddie Lomax’s assistant – legal eagle and super snoop, Tammy, played by Juliette Lewis (I believe this is the role Lewis is playing anyway; can’t see her as Alex or Abby).

The deal Mitch cut with the FBI soon comes back to haunt him, as the young criminal defense lawyer finds out when agent Wayne Tarrance resurfaces. Tarrance tells Mitch, who has only recently gotten his life back on track (he has a young daughter, Claire, helping speed up the healing process), the not-so-good-news : There’s a hit out on him and Abby – ordered by Joey Morolto, the head of the Morolto crime family. Seems the information Mitch supplied the feds with back in Mephis was a little “too good” and the mob wants revenge.

Mitch doesn’t take much notice of it, and he’s tired of running – his solution is to simply “talk” to mobster Morolto and get him to call off the hit or better still, have his brother Ray – who has connections – fix it. And back to work he goes. It’s no long before Mitch is neglecting his own firm and gets back in bed with another seedy establishment – Kinross and Grant. This new law firm are desperate for him to come onboard as their criminal defense man. Rather than selling his soul completely to another firm, Mitch tells his employer, Andrew Beckett, he doesn’t want an in-house position but instead would prefer an associate role. It’s soon revealed that – shock horror – this new firm is up to no good . They’ve got a murderous secret to hide (one that involves a client Mitch got arraigned for murder earlier on). Beckett and his colleagues don’t just stop at getting to know Mitch, they start tapping his phones, spying and generally making the McDeere’s uncomfortable. Same drill as the film. There’s, of course, a dangerous woman in the firm ready to do damage to Mitch too (as there was in the prequel book/film too). She’s Alex Grant (described as “Tilda Swinton at her most dynmaic”), the firm’s forty-something managing partner. Wildly alluring, charismatic… say no more.

There’s a very intriguing twist in the pilot, and on the whole, it looks like it’ll make for an impressive series – and you just know Josh Lucas is going to hit it out of the park as McDeere. Can’t wait for this show, should be a tight watch.

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About Caffeinated Clint

The writer/publicist/producer who wears the editor hat on Moviehole. Favorite films include "Say Anything...", "The Hunt for Red October", "Jerry Maguire", "Almost Famous", "Die Hard", "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", "Young Guns", "American Psycho", "Back to the Future" and the "Star Wars" series.
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