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Par invokes ‘Kill Clause’

Studio hopes to hatch a feature franchise

In a mid-six against seven-figure deal, Paramount and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura have made a preemptive purchase of Gregg Hurwitz novel “The Kill Clause” and set the author to write the script.

Deal comes with character rights to a protag who will be the subject of three more novels to be published by William Morrow. Studio hopes to hatch a feature franchise.

Central character is a U.S. marshal and former special forces operative whose life is shattered when his 7-year-old daughter is brutally murdered. Enraged when the killer walks free, Tim Rackley is drafted to become an enforcer in an organized vigilante campaign, until the initial bloodlust gives way to questions about playing god and suspicions that his new colleagues don’t have pure motives.

“It is an interesting examination of vigilante justice that gives the character the permission to act unlawfully and then come to conclusions about what he is doing,” said di Bonaventura, who has a first look deal at Paramount. Rackley clearly redeems himself, at least enough to propel three subsequent novels in a deal just brokered with the publisher by Arthur Pine Associates. UTA made the book deal for Hurwitz, a 30-year-old Harvard grad who got his Masters at Oxford. He previously wrote the novels “Do No Harm” and “Minutes to Burn” and recently completed spec script “A Thing of Beauty,” which will be shopped shortly.

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