Michael Connelly Addresses the Possibility of Killing Off Bosch

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Madison Lintz, Titus Welliver, Mimi Rogers

He may not be a cop any longer, but that doesn’t stop newly minted private investigator Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver) from continuing his life’s mission of putting bad guys in jail no matter who they are, because even though Harry is no longer an active LAPD detective, he still believes: Everybody counts, or nobody counts.

Season 2 of Bosch: Legacy picks up where Season 1 ended—with the kidnapping of Harry’s daughter Maddie (Madison Lintz)—and then moves on, pairing Harry with attorney Honey “Money” Chandler” (Mimi Rogers). The two, who used to be adversaries, become allies in dealing with the aftermath of the events of last season, Carl Rogers’ murder and an investigation that puts their lives on the line.

“Harry was a little bit cast adrift in the first season,” Michael Connelly, the bestselling author of the Bosch franchise and an executive producer on the TV series, exclusively tells Parade. “He’s kind of falling into his own. In the season at hand, he crosses the aisle. He goes from being a guy who is consummate power [player]—carries the badge, carries the gun, goes after murderers. Now he’s working for a defense attorney. It’s not without a great hesitation.”

The pivot in Bosch, where he is actually working as an ally with Honey, is not in Connelly’s novels, so it was developed in the writers room especially for the TV series, and Connelly says he enjoyed exploring the new direction.

“We do some stuff in the show we haven’t done in the books, like give him an office, which I think is a classic looking office right out of the pantheon of detectives, like Raymond Chandler and Sam Spade,” Connelly continues. “We’re very aware of that, that kind of continuum keeps us all—when I say us, I’m talking about the writers and actors too—plugged in.”

Michael Connelly, Titus Welliver<p>Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic</p>
Michael Connelly, Titus Welliver

Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Connelly’s deal with Amazon Freevee came at an opportune time as Bosch was wrapping its seventh season on Prime Video, and it provided him the opportunity to continue exploring new avenues with Bosch.

“I just think I’m not finished with Harry,” he says. “There’s a lot to explore. I was a journalist [Los Angeles Times] for a long time and there’s some kind of journalistic instinct that I have with Harry Bosch. I’ve been given this opportunity to observe a character evolve over decades against a city that’s evolving and changing over decades. So, there’s a journalistic thing going on. It’s just an amazing opportunity. I’m so lucky that he has sustained an audience in books and now on a TV show. It’s a rare opportunity. So, I have to grab it and do the best work I can.”

Related: Titus Welliver Talks Bosch: Legacy and Working With the 'Inordinately Intelligent' Ben Affleck

During our conversation, Connelly also described how the switch from Bosch to Bosch: Legacy came about; his new bookResurrection Walk, which once again pairs Bosch with his half-brother Mickey Haller; if there are any plans to bring Rene Ballard to the screen; and whether or not he will ever kill Bosch off.

I actually didn’t feel as if Bosch came to an end on Prime Video. Why the decision to move on and try something different?

It wasn’t necessarily my decision. I’m the benefactor, I benefited from the evolution of the streaming industry. We always said to them, “Look, we know these things don’t last forever. Let us know when we’re writing the last season, and we’ll write to an ending.” So, we were writing to an ending in Season 7 when Amazon started this new platform Freevee, which would be ad-supported.

So, the people at Freevee came to us and said, “We want to continue the story, but we want to pivot a little bit and make it a three-hander as opposed to a single lead in Harry Bosch. We want to start telling larger or bigger stories about Maddie (Madison Lintz) and ‘Money’ Chandler (Mimi Rogers).”

Titus Welliver<p>Credit: Warrick Page/Amazon Freevee</p>
Titus Welliver

Credit: Warrick Page/Amazon Freevee

So, we were in the middle of filming what we thought was the last season and we got thrown this lifeline and it was like, “Yeah, of course, yeah, we’re all in.” It gave us a chance to refresh the storytelling with this new direction and it’s been fun to do. Harry Bosch without a badge is a great thing to explore, which I’ve done in my books.

But what I haven’t done in my books is all the stuff we’ve done with “Money” Chandler. She’s only in one book, so to have her have this long life going into 10 seasons and moving her to the forefront, along with Bosch and his daughter, has been great.

Maddie Bosch, once we knew in season 7 that we were going to have this second life, we had her apply to the police department and that started us down this path with that character that wasn’t in the books. Now she’s a cop in the books but that came out of the show. That was a bounce back inspiration where the show influenced the books.

Related: Bestselling Author Michael Connelly on Taking Harry Bosch from Books to TV

When you retire might you kill him off? I thought he might die in the last book, Desert Star.

He’s dealing with stuff that a guy who’s 73 has to deal with. That’s one of those things I was just talking about. I love that idea. It’s interesting you said in the last book he almost died. A lot of people thought, “Is this the end?” But through the power of social media, I had doctors and people reaching out to me and saying … This literally happened, “I’m running a clinical trial of what Harry Bosch is facing and I’m getting good results.” The guy made the mistake of giving me his email, so I made contact and in the next book Harry’s in a clinical trial that might make him better. Hopefully, I’m writing about Harry Bosch until the day I’m no longer writing.

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The next book is Resurrection Walk. Again, it’s him working with his half-brother, Mickey Haller. Again, Mickey’s a defense attorney. So, this is like 180 degrees for Harry where he doesn’t really like these attorneys that represent the bad guys who he is trying to put away. How does he deal with that mentally?

He has an out. Everything you just said is exactly right, like why should I work for the other side? But this idea is planted by himself to a degree, but also from Mickey Haller and other angles, and that is if somebody is innocent and charged, that means somebody did this in a very devious way and has been able to get away with it. Isn’t that worth checking out? And so, Harry hesitantly gets pulled into these things and then will find in Resurrection Walk, for example, this one little thing that was missed by the original investigators that plants a doubt in his mind. And that’s enough for him to keep going and to work on the “other side.”

Related: How to Read All Michael Connelly's Lincoln Lawyer Books in Order

I did an interview with Titus before the actor’s strike. He’s going to stick with Harry as long as he can. For you, what makes him the right Harry Bosch?

Just his internal mechanisms of being able to project a character who has a lot going on behind the eyes. It’s just an amazing journey, but when we got the go ahead, I guess this was almost 12 years ago, the showrunner Eric Overmyer said, “Our most important thing is finding a character that can project that he’s carrying baggage, but he can never say, ‘I’m carrying baggage.’” So, Titus is that guy. I think he’s a fantastic Bosch.

I remember the first time we were filming at his house when we were filming the pilot, and I’m always aware of promotion. I had a friend video us standing at the balcony and I asked him, “What if this goes five years, are you all in?” And he said, “I’ll be here until they no longer want me.” That was my goal. I thought five years, 50 episodes, that could delineate the character of Harry Bosch, and now here we are approaching 100. It’s been an amazing journey, and I think it’s all because of him, because of him being able to harness this character and connect this character to readers of the books and watchers of the show. It’s just amazing what he’s done.

Titus Welliver<p>Credit: Tyler Golden/Amazon Freevee</p>
Titus Welliver

Credit: Tyler Golden/Amazon Freevee

I’ve watched the whole second season already, so I’m ready for Season 3. Are you able to say if there is going to a Season 3 or not?

Yeah, there’s a season 3 and we’re working on it. Obviously, we were delayed by the strike. We had just started in March and then the beginning of May, we were shut down. But we got back into it two weeks ago. This season, they delayed the release until October. It had nothing to do with the strike; that was the plan all along. But now that kind of plays into our hands, so we should have Season 3 come out by October of next year. We’re pretty happy.

Related: The Lincoln Lawyer Series Star Shares What He Learned from Matthew McConaughey

Then you have the Renee Ballard character. Any talk about putting her onto a TV series?

Yeah, that’s under heavy duty development. Again, that was delayed as well but we had writers trying to formulate that show. Then they had to shut down. Just got back into business a couple of weeks ago and, hopefully, that’s going to be realized as a companion show to Bosch, where she is in the show with Bosch. We’ll see what happens. Under this brave new world of ad-supported streaming, that lends itself to having more of the Bosch universe get on stream.

One of the things that I love about your novels is that Los Angeles is also a character in the book. How do you keep it so realistic and make L.A. such a part of that?

It’s a couple of things that became like the rules of the show. We film the show in eight episodes, and we just have this idea that we only want to be inside on a stage two of those days per episode. So, it makes the show expensive; it makes it complex and difficult, but we want to be out in the real L.A. six out of eight days. We’ve been able to accomplish that now going on nine-to-10 years. I think that is a key part of the success of the show because you’re right, Harry Bosch is emblematic of his city. He interacts with his city. And you can’t really get that on stages.

A lot of shows are built with fake stuff and all that. In nine years of making this show, we only faked one restaurant and that was because of a scheduling complexity. But we film in the real places, we film at the real police station. We want everything to be legit and authentic and that will carry through to the viewers of the show. I have this idea in my head that they’re subconsciously nodding as they’re watching the show because it’s authentic.

Bosch: Legacy is now streaming on Amazon Freevee.

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