Reading the Screen: A Harry Bosch TV Series
Posted by: David Pitt
More Michael Connelly news: according to this article at Hollywood Reporter’s website, Michael Connelly and writer-producer Eric Overmyer (St. Elsewhere, Law & Order, The Wire, Treme, and others) are teaming up on a television series based on Connelly’s Harry Bosch novels.
This is excellent news. Bosch is one of the mystery genre’s most interesting and complex characters, and — as long as they cast it properly — a series based on Bosch could have a nice long run. Especially since there are a lot of books to provide raw material for the show.
But here’s an interesting question, which the Hollywood Reporter article touches briefly on. The novels go back twenty years, to 1992′s The Black Echo. Harry has aged as the series has progressed. It would be great if the series did the same thing — start with a younger Harry and work forward to the present day — but how would you cast that? Would you use a progression of similarly-featured actors, or would you use one actor and age him artificially as the series progresses? Or would you ignore the novels’ chronology and set all the stories contemporaneously? That would be simpler from a production angle — you wouldn’t have to do a series of period pieces set in the early 1990s, the mid-90s, the early 2000s, etc — but it would, I think, ruin the character, who got the way he is today because of what happened to him in the past.
As I mentioned here, Connelly is also working on a series based on Harry Bosch’s half-brother Mickey Haller, the Lincoln Lawyer. I wonder — since Harry and Mickey have both appeared together in print — whether we can expect to see Mickey making a guest appearance on Harry’s show, and vice versa. (And will the characters be recast for their guest appearances? Cross-overs — an actor from one show appearing in another as his usual character — are usually only done when the shows are part of the same franchise, or on the same network, or done by the same production company.)
I couldn’t find a picture of Harry Bosch to show you — he’s a fictional character, after all — but I did find one of his namesake, the 16th century painter after whom Harry is named. In case you were wondering who the heck that is, up there.
And who should play Harry Bosch? How should the producers approach the character and his twenty-year storyline?