Lionsgate has acquired the movie rights to Steve Hamilton’s upcoming novel “The Second Life of Nick Mason.”

The studio has set up the project with “Hunger Games” franchise producer Nina Jacobson through her Color Force production company and with Shane Salerno via his Story Factory.

Lionsgate made the deal with Hamilton’s reps preemptively. Putnam will publish “Nick Mason” in May as the first in a series; the titular character is a career criminal who’s released early from prison and finds himself forced to commit increasingly dangerous felonies for a Chicago crime lord while pursued by the detective who put him behind bars.

Hamilton also wrote “The Lock Artist” and the Alex McKnight series.

The “Nick Mason” deal is first major acquisition since Bobby Cohen joined Gillian Bohrer as Lionsgate’s  co-president of motion picture production last month.

Jacobson is producing “The Odyssey” for Lionsgate with Francis Lawrence directing and Hugh Jackman in talks to star.

Salerno’s credits include writing “Armageddon.” He co-wrote one of the upcoming “Avatar” sequels with James Cameron. He is also Hamilton’s literary agent and brokered the deal along with CAA.

The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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