Michael Connelly’s L.A. detective Harry Bosch is being made into a TV show, at last. The author speaks about his expectations for the series, how he got burned by Hollywood, and of course: what TV shows he likes.
In June it was finally official: Michael Connellys rugged, jazz lovin’ and brilliant LAPD detective Harry Bosch is getting his own TV series. Twenty years since he first appeared n the amazong debut novel The Black Echo. About time, was the chorus from Harry Bosch fans around the world.
The new series is called Bosch, it is – according to co-producer Henrik Bastin – based on the novels City Of Bones and Concrete Blonde, and the production is already well into filming.
In this interview, Michael Connelly talks about his expectations for the series, how he got burned as a rookie in Hollywood, and of course: what TV shows he likes to watch when he’s not writing novels about Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch.
Congratulations with finally bringing Harry Bosch to the screen. What are your expectations for the series?
– I have high expectations that I guess are built on waiting so long for it to happen. There is a lot of Harry Bosch in a lot of books so I am hoping the character can be realized as well on the television screen. In many ways I think we can do better and Harry can be realer on the screen than on the page so I am hoping for that.
Why has it taken almost twenty books to finally come to the point where Harry Bosch moves from the pages to the screen?
– Many reasons, not the least is a poor deal I made as a ‘rookie’ in Hollywood. But I also think that too often these books have been dismissed — mostly by those who have not bothered to read them — as simply police procedurals and there is already enough of those on screen. What was missing was the Hollywood executive who had actually read the books instead of summaries and realized that these are more character based than plot based and that something could be done with Harry Bosch as a character. That is finally happening now.
Titus Welliver is playing Harry Bosch. How involved were you in that decision, and what are your expectations for Mr. Welliver as a detective/person you have written about for twenty years?
– I was totally involved and am totally excited. We talked about many actors from well known to the obscure. Titus has a familiar face and the chops of a well respected character actor. I think he’s going to be great at carrying and living Harry’s inner world. I can’t wait.
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Which TV series are your favorites these days, or in recent years?
– I watch television sparingly. It has to really draw me in with characters. For example I have never watched a single episode of CSI. But I have loved shows like Homicide, Sopranos, The Wire. I am sorry to see Breaking Bad go. I watch Californication, loved The Killing — both versions. I really enjoyed Lilyhammer and House of Cards. I’m a big fan of The New Girl, which is far and away from crime.
Los Angeles and Harry Bosch has changed a lot since we met Harry in The Black Echo after the L.A. Riots. What is the biggest change in both the city and Harry?
– In Harry that is easy: fatherhood. When he learned he was a father and was responsible for someone else in the world then the books really changed. The city evolves slower. I think it has recovered greatly from the times of riots and an unchecked police department. It is still a city of dreams and hopes and maybe they seem a little more attainable now.
What are your other favorite detectives, movies and novels from Los Angeles, and have any of those inspired the Harry Bosch character?
– On the movie front I think Chinatown and The Long Goodbye (Robert Altman version) are my favorite L.A. cop movies and probably my favorites of all movies. The film version of Joseph Wambaugh’s The Black Marble is also special and inspirational to me. As far as books go I come back again to Marlowe and Raymond Chandler’s work at the top of the pile. Joseph Wambaugh is the king of the L.A. cop novel and I have always loved Ross MacDonald’s take on Southern California. No doubt that Chandler, Wambaugh and MacDonald are the big three!
Who is your favorite antagonist in the Bosch series?
– It’s got to be Irvin Irving because the threat to Bosch comes from within the department. I am always more interested in the political and bureaucratic landscape that Harry traverses than who the killer is. Irving is so interesting to me because his motives are always murky when it comes to Bosch. Taken as a whole over his many appearances in the books, I think there is an interesting adversary to Bosch.