With The Lincoln Lawyer just released, fans of crime novelist Michael Connelly might wonder why more of his novels (26 to date) haven't made it to the screen. His only other adapted work so far is Clint Eastwood's awful 2002 Blood Work, but that may be about to change, with the news that Connelly has retrieved the rights to his Harry Bosch novels from a twenty-year development hell at Paramount.
Bosch, the half-brother of Matthew McConaughey's Lincoln Lawyer character Mickey Haller, is an LAPD detective - with a stint as a private eye during his brief retirement - with a healthy disrespect for authority and a semi-automatic Smith & Wesson. His motivation is the unsolved murder of his mother when he was a child, and he was known as Hari Kari Bosch by his buddies in 'Nam. You get the picture. His investigations have taken in serial killers, drug cartels, child porn rings, white supremacists, terrorists and dodgy film directors.
That last may have something to do with Connelly's Hollywood frustrations: Paramount acquired his first novel The Black Echo (and Bosch along with it) back in 1992, but the rest was silence until Connelly decided to remonstrate with the studio last year. Perhaps suggesting that a lack of screen presence hasn't hurt his paperback sales, Connelly has personally paid $3m to get his property back. He didn't think it too much.
Intriguingly, the author is now in talks with Sweden's Yellow Bird production company, which is behind the adaptations - both Swedish and American - of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, and Henning Mankel's Wallander novels. Connelly would be a partner in any film venture that gets going under the new arrangement. And with so much material to work with, not to mention Yellow Bird's line-blurring between theatrical and TV production, we wonder if we might be seeing a lot of Harry Bosch in the future...
The Lincoln Lawyer is on release right now. It's very good.