Netflix’s Devil’s Advocate: Is the Show Inspired by a Real Murder Case?

Originally titled ‘Muhamiat Alshaytan,’ Netflix’s ‘Devil’s Advocate’ is a Kuwaiti crime drama show that revolves around Bader, a footballer in Kuwait City accused of his wife, Dalal’s murder, after he reports her death. As the case gains notoriety and divides the masses, a confident defense lawyer named Loulwa decides to represent him, but winning the case is far from easy. As she and Bader come closer, she is also forced to face Yousef, her ex, who is the prosecutor in the case.

While Loulwa tries her best to prove the footballer’s innocence, secrets from his past start to unravel, causing several complications in the young lawyer’s life. With twists and turns that keep the audience hooked till the end, the mystery show directed by Essam Abdel Hamid features stellar performances from actors like Haya Abdul Salam, Ali Kakooli, Noor Al-Dulaimi, and Muhammad Al Dousari. Besides, the authentic portrayal of court proceedings and the lifelike characters are bound to make one ask — is ‘Devil’s Advocate’ based on true events? Well, here’s what we found out about the same!

Devil’s Advocate is a Fictional Story

‘Devil’s Advocate’ is not based on a true story. The show’s engaging storyline and intriguing characters can be credited to the brilliant penmanship of writer Fatima Al-Amer. Having worked on several popular Kuwaiti shows, she collaborated with director Essam Abdel Hamid and used her experience and expertise to craft the concept. Although the Netflix series is primarily fictional, Fatima likely drew inspiration from her observations of the real world when writing the script. In ‘Devil’s Advocate,’ Bader is a famous sports star accused of murdering his spouse. Interestingly, such instances are not unheard of in real life.

Take the case of Anthony McClanahan, a former Canadian League pro footballer accused of murdering his wife, Keri “KC” McClanahan, in November 2017. According to reports, he flagged down a police officer on November 2 outside the Park Regency Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah. Covered in blood, Anthony claimed that intruders had allegedly attacked him, his wife, and their baby. KC was found dead inside the couple’s hotel room, and an autopsy revealed that a small, sharp knife she wore in a bracelet was used to slit her throat.

When the police found no evidence of a baby and discovered that Anthony had been charged with child kidnapping in October 2017 for taking away their 8-year-old son without his wife’s permission, all suspicion shifted to him. Eventually, the former football player confessed to KC’s murder and was sentenced to fifteen years to life in April 2019. Unfortunately, this is one of the many cases where a sportsperson has been found guilty of their spouse’s murder, and Fatima possibly studied such incidents while developing the show’s concept.

On the other hand, many movies and TV shows over the years have explored the concept of a competent lawyer stepping in to prove the innocence of a person wrongly accused of a crime. Yet, one of the most prominent examples has to be that of ‘Just Mercy,’ a 2019 biographical crime drama movie helmed by Destin Daniel Cretton. Starring Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, and Brie Larson, it follows renowned civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson, tasked with legally representing Walter McMillian, a death row prisoner falsely accused of murdering a teenage girl.

Hence, it is also likely that the makers of ‘Devil’s Advocate’ took inspiration from characters like Bryan Stevenson to build Loulwa’s story arc in the show. All things said, the Netflix show realistically depicts how a lawyer approaches a client’s case, and the nuanced manner in which the actors bring the story to life makes one empathize with the characters. However, this doesn’t change the fact that ‘Devil’s Advocate’ is purely fictitious and a result of writer Fatima Al-Amer’s creativity.

Read More: Where is Netflix’s Devil’s Advocate Filmed?