On the 40th anniversary of the famed Los Angeles Wonderland Murders, award-winning crime novelist Michael Connelly revisits the haunting homicides in new Audible podcast, “The Wonderland Murders & The Secret History of Hollywood.”
For screen fans, writer-creator Connelly is behind the hit series Boschand The Lincoln Lawyer starring Matthew McConaughey. Connelly partners with showrunner David E. Kelley to adapt Lincoln Lawyer once again– but this time, as a Netflix legal thriller led by Manuel Garcia-Rulfo (Magnificent Seven, Sicario: Day of the Soldado).
Below, Connelly exclusively opens up about the inspirations behind his novels, the “Wonderland” podcast, and what it really was like working with Emmy winner Kelley.
Screen Queens: How do you find stories to inspire your crime novels like The Lincoln Lawyer and The Law of Innocence? Were the Wonderland Murders one of your “favorite” real-life mysteries?
Michael Connelly: I try to spend a lot of time with the kind of people I like to write about– detectives, lawyers, sometimes criminals. So inevitably their stories become my stories. They provide the starting point and I wrap their true stories in fiction. As far as the Wonderland case goes, any case where you know people got away with murder sticks with you because it is so unfair that someone should walk away from a crime like that.
Screen Queens: What have been some of your favorite true crime podcasts or TV shows to binge during quarantine?
Michael Connelly: I think anything Christopher Goffard does is gold. I love the stories he tells.
Screen Queens: Can you share any fun details about working with David E. Kelley and A&E Studios to adapt The Lincoln Lawyer?
Michael Connelly: Well, Kelley is a master of that form. His history shows that over and over again. I’m kind of shell-shocked that he picked one of my characters to do something with. As soon as you get that word you know good things are going to happen. So I am very lucky with that. And when the pilot script came in, I was in awe of the way he took my character [Mickey Haller] as a baseline and made it his own without tampering with the DNA. The show is going to please fans of the book series as well as those who have never heard of the books or the prior movie.
The adaptation of The Lincoln Lawyer was annouced earlier this year, with no announced dates for streaming so far.
Interview by Samantha Bergeson
Sam can’t stop thinking (and talking and writing and ranting…) about her personal experiences with film. She’s just as comfortable watching a Razzie-nominated movie as an Oscar winner, and can debate the merits of both Clueless and Casino any day. Find Sam live-tweeting about reality TV and her obsession with dogs on Twitter at @sbergrig.