“It’s going to be a big month for the universe of my shows,” Michael Connelly says.
The internationally bestselling author saw his series of novels about Los Angeles Detective Harry Bosch become a seven-season hit series on Amazon that ended last year.
This month, two more streaming series based on his characters will debut: Bosch: Legacy, a spinoff from Bosch, on Amazon Freevee and The Lincoln Lawyer on Netflix.
“I’m really proud of both of them,” he says.
The first four episodes of Bosch: Legacy drop May 6, with two more released each Friday through May 27.
The entire 10-episode season of The Lincoln Lawyer, based on Connelly’s books about defense lawyer Mickey Haller, drops May 13.
“It’s a weird coincidence,” Connelly, a part-time Tampa resident, says in a Zoom interview. “Or is it not?”
He knew both drop dates in advance but couldn’t tell anyone at the other platform. “So I know it’s coincidence, not some kind of grand plan.”
Bosch: Legacy brings back Titus Welliver as the driven Harry Bosch. The biggest difference in the spinoff is that Bosch is no longer on the police force.
“He’s a private investigator now,” Connelly says. “It follows the track of the books, but it also reflects what’s going on in society. The last few years have led to a more jaundiced view of police departments. So I think it’s a good time for Harry to be out on his own, to be an outsider. I think the show speaks to our times pretty well.”
Bosch: Legacy also features Madison Lintz as Harry’s daughter, Maddie Bosch, and Mimi Rogers as Harry’s sometime nemesis, defense lawyer Honey ”Money” Chandler.
Connelly says those two characters are “equal partners” in the new series. “Bosch was an ensemble, but it definitely followed the lead of Harry Bosch.”
Maddie is now a rookie police officer, he says. “Everything that’s happened in the last two years has ratcheted up how difficult that job is to do right.”
Chandler is still recovering from being shot during the last season of Bosch. Connelly says, “In Season 7, we killed Money Chandler.”
He says that about two-thirds of the way through production of that season, they got word from Amazon Freevee that it wanted to make the spinoff. He and co-executive produce Eric Overmeyer were in a Zoom meeting with Freevee executives who said they wanted to elevate the characters of Maddie and Honey.
“I looked over at Eric at that point. We knew she was dead. But she was suddenly resurrected. We said, no problem.”
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They got busy rewriting scripts, and Chandler survived. In Bosch: Legacy, Connelly says, she’s dealing with that trauma and a desire for revenge.
Like both Bosch series, The Lincoln Lawyer is set in Los Angeles. “It’s a great slice of L.A.,” Connelly says, “a little bit more blue sky than what you see with Harry. Mickey is a surfer, and his client is this big tech guy.
“There’s what they call Silicon Beach on the west side of L.A. The tech guy’s company is there, with a basketball court on the roof. It’s another accurate slice of L.A., different from what you see with Harry Bosch.”
In making the series with producer David E. Kelley, Connelly says, they were “dealing with an iconic movie with Matthew McConaughey,” released in 2011.
“How do you make it your own?” Connelly says. “They went back to the books. In the books, Mickey Haller is Mexican American. His mother is from Mexico.”
With series star Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, he says, “We got a great Mickey. He’s got this charm that really comes off the screen.”
That charm, and the ability to use it in the courtroom and elsewhere, is a significant trait of the character. Connelly says that when the movie came out, McConaughey said of Haller that he could “dance between the raindrops and not get wet. That’s a pretty good description. And Manuel has that.”
The series also stars Neve Campbell and Becki Newton as Haller’s ex-wives.
Even though in Connelly’s books Bosch and Haller are half brothers and have occasionally worked together, there won’t be any crossovers between the series because they’re made by two different companies, Connelly says.
His work with Kelley on The Lincoln Lawyer led to yet another project. “He likes adapting books,” Connelly says. “He said, ‘This Lincoln Lawyer thing looks pretty good. What else you got?’”
All of his books have been sold for the screen, Connelly says, but he’d written a short story about the only detective on the police force on Catalina Island, off Los Angeles.
“They wanted a female lead for a detective show with a beachy type element,” he says. “I had a male lead, but it’s only a short story, so I didn’t mind changing it.”
The result, a series for ABC titled Avalon, will start filming in June.
“I turned 65 in the past year, so I’m looking toward slowing down in Hollywood and just writing books,” Connelly says. ”But every time I try to get out, they pull me back in.
“After 30 years in Hollywood, I’m an overnight success.”
How to watch
The first four episodes of Bosch: Legacy will drop May 6 on Amazon Freevee, a free, ad-supported streaming service (formerly called IMDb.TV). Two more episodes will be released each Friday through May 27.
The 10-episode first season of The Lincoln Lawyer will drop May 13 on Netflix.