EXCLUSIVE: After suing Paramount Pictures to recapture rights to his Harry Bosch crime novels The Black Ice and The Black Echo, Michael Connelly is in talks to make a new film alliance with Yellow Bird Films, the Swedish production company run by Soren Staermose and Ole Sondberg that generated the Stieg Larsson crime novel trilogy adaptations that started with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. They are also producing with Scott Rudin the Larsson adaptation for Sony Pictures that David Fincher is directing with Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara starring.
In order to get those books out of Paramount, the deal comes with a provision they pay the studio $3 million for sitting on the franchise for close to two decades. Connelly is paying that money himself, illustrating that while crime doesn’t pay, writing about it sure does. The move comes just as another of his bestsellers, The Lincoln Lawyer, was released in film form with Matthew McConaughey starring. I’m told the deal being worked out for the Bosch series will make Connelly a partner in the film venture. This is his signature book series, revolving around Bosch, an LAPD homicide detective who has been the centerpiece of 16 novels that have sold millions of copies. The two books were optioned in 1992 and Connelly sued last year because when he attempted to recover rights to the stalled film project, he felt that Paramount loaded an unreasonable amount of development costs and interests onto the package, with little documentation to back it up. Connelly’s deals are made by Joel Gotler, who would not comment. UTA, which reps Yellow Bird, also had no comment.