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Lionsgate acquires ‘Junior Bender’ rights

Crime series centers on L.A. burglar-detective

Lionsgate has acquired film and TV rights to Timothy Hallinan’s “Junior Bender” crime fiction book series.

The rights deal was announced in conjucntion with Hallinan signing a three-book deal with Soho Crime for worldwide English publishing rights to the series, centering on a Los Angeles burglar who moonlights as an ad hoc private eye for clients on the wrong side of the law.

The first two “Junior Bender” novels — “Crashed” and “Little Elvises” — were originally offered directly by Hallinan as ebooks and will now be moving to the traditional publishing format.

Plans are for the “Junior Bender” to be modeled after recent humorous action franchises such as “Burn Notice” and “White Collar.”

Soho plans to publish “Crash” this fall with a hardcover edition out on Nov. 13. “Little Elvises” will be released in hardcover on Jan. 29 and “The Fame Thief” will come out June 4.

The novels contain old Hollywood and show business stories, drawn by Hallinan from his years of working in the film, television, and music industries.

Hallinan previously wrote the Simeon Grist series about an LA detective and the Poke Rafferty thriller series set in Thailand. He then entered the ebook market with reissues of the six books in the Grist series.

The rights deal with Lionsgate was negotiated by APA.

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