Michael Connelly’s Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch novels are coming to life via Amazon Studios later this year with “Bosch,” starring Titus Welliver as the titular LAPD detective. At the 2014 TCA press tour panel, executive producer Eric Overmyer and the stars discuss bringing such an iconic contemporary literary character to life.
“Obviously we have to adapt the books and [Michael Connelly] has been very open and
generous about the changes that we’re making, but the core character is
the same,” says Overmyer. “Michael’s been very involved. … There hasn’t been any of the sort of defensiveness
or alarm that sometimes comes with working of the author of the book.
He’s anxious about it, he’s excited about it, he’s invested in it.”
The TV series will take from two of the books, but not the first two, “The Black Echo” and “The Black Ice.” Instead, the adaptation will jump farther into the book series to “City of Bones,” which introduces rookie cop Julia Brasher (Annie Wershing), but Overmyer and Welliver reassure fans that it will be different but faithful to the character and books.
“We’ve had to adapt his backstory quite a bit,” says Overmyer. “His ex-wife and his daughter are in his life, I
think I can tell you that.”
“I think any time you take an iconic character from literature,
you have to stay with the musculature of the character that exists
there, but also because of the age and the time things, we had to take
some liberties in sort of moving around so it would fit,” Welliver adds. “Harry is a thorny guy, but he’s not without a sense of humor and I think
anyone who ultimately deals with the a**-end of society as an
occupation, a sense of humor is what carries one through. Without making
him cheeky, his sense of humor, which exists in the books, I think,
holds fast in the show as well.”
One aspect of the books that won’t be changed is the city of Los Angeles, which is as much a character in the books as Bosch himself. Author Connelly made it a stipulation of the adaptation that the show be filmed on location in Los Angeles.
“It’s such an important part of his books and he feels such an allegiance to the city,” says Overmyer. “Like ‘The Wire’ and Baltimore, like ‘Treme’ and New Orleans, ‘Bosch’ will be really rooted in Los Angeles, you’ll get a sense of it. … We want to show the city as it exists now. We want to show parts of the city that aren’t usually shown. … There’s a whole other part of L.A. that you don’t often see [on film and TV].”
So far, fan response has been positive about Welliver bringing Harry
Bosch to life, which is something Overmyer says the creators and cast
were concerned about.
“We were anxious how the fans would
respond and it seemed crucial
to us that if we missed the boat on it, that would certainly sink the
series before it even got started,” says Overmyer. “So we’re very
pleased that they felt we
were doing right by the series, by the books. And we were also very
happy about the reception of Titus as Bosch.”
The “Bosch” pilot is available now on Amazon. The rest of the series will debut in early 2015.