Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch has put away a cavalcade of criminals and ne'er-do-wells during his 20-plus years as an LAPD homicide detective, all the time sticking to his strict code of ethics and sense of justice.
But while Bosch — the creation of acclaimed novelist
"Many efforts were made, and many screenplays were written, some by Oscar-winning writers," said Connelly. "But they ultimately never came to fruition. And Harry stayed on the shelf for two decades."
Connelly finally got the rights to his character back in 2012, and he's using them as the key to finally bust Bosch out. The relentless detective, who suffers no fools and loves to listen to melancholy jazz in his isolated hillside home above the frantic chaos of Los Angeles, is coming to life in "Bosch," a new drama pilot for
Like Amazon's first series of pilots that premiered last year and included "Alpha House" with
Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios, said the Bosch character and Connelly's novels are perfect for the kind of series his company wants to produce: "There are engaging stories with a very textured portrayal of Los Angeles."
The pilot has the gritty, slick look and feel of an edgy series that would be right at home on cable venues such as
The show's pedigree is impressive, especially for an online series, and owes something to HBO's venerated crime series
Of course, Connelly is a key creative force behind the pilot — he co-wrote the script, signed off on the producers, the cast and all other major aspects of the production, including his insistence that every scene be shot in Los Angeles.
"This is a unique thing for a writer," said Connelly last week during a quiet breakfast at Du-par's at the Farmers Market, one of his favorite local haunts. He displayed much of the low-key demeanor that defined his approach to crime reporting as a journalist.
"Usually you give your work to a Hollywood entity, and you hope for the best," said Connelly. "You have zero involvement, or some small level of involvement such as consulting or advising. You can make excuses if it doesn't work. I can't really do that with this project because I've been fully immersed from Day 1."
Bosch will be the third character from the Connelly brain trust to be adapted for the screen. Retired
Although the "Lincoln Lawyer" movie was a highlight for Connelly, "Bosch" represents a particularly fulfilling milestone. The character was introduced in 1992's "The Black Echo," and the continuing series reflects the author's endless fascination with police work, complicated characters and his affection for the diverse neighborhoods that make up the jagged puzzle of Los Angeles.
Connelly is particularly happy about the casting of Welliver, saying the actor has perfectly captured the sad-eyed, lonely demeanor of Bosch: "There's an intensity in Titus' eyes that show an inner hurt."
Welliver, a well-known character actor who has appeared in a host of TV series including "Deadwood,"
"With all due respect to Michael, I feel a special ownership of this character," Welliver said.
Stepping out of his comfort zone doesn't appear to have shaken Connelly.
"I'm really not that nervous," he said. "The pilot is a very, very good representation of Harry Bosch and his world. There's a lot more to come, but it's like dipping a toe in the water at this point."
Where: Amazon Instant Video
Rating: Not Rated