EXCLUSIVE: As Universal Pictures prepares for Friday’s opening of the Scott Frank-directed adaptation of the Lawrence Block novel A Walk Among The Tombstones, the studio is courting its star Liam Neeson for another thriller novel it is percolating. It’s Tell No One, the thriller by bestselling novelist Harlan Coben. There is a script by Oscar-winning Argo scribe Chris Terrio, but they are going to do some work before Neeson will officially attach. I hear it’s going to happen, even if it is a little ways away.

tell no oneWhile Coben is an accomplished deliverer of page-turner thrillers, he has yet to really hit it in Hollywood. His best outing came on the French version of Tell No One, which was turned into a hit by filmmaker Guillaume Canet. The success of that film led to the Universal deal and Terrio’s writing. Gavin O’Connor has circled the film as director. Coben has several novels at studios around town, and most recently set Missing You at Warner Bros and RatPac Entertainment. His thriller Six Years is at Paramount with Mark Gordon producing and Hugh Jackman attached. It looks like it’s finally his time.

The strong reviews for A Walk Among The Tombstones could mean another adult-themed franchise. Block’s private eye character Matthew Scudder appeared in 18 novels or short stories. With Denzel Washington and the team behind The Equalizer well along with a sequel by scribe Richard Wenk in advance of that movie’s September 26 opening, am I getting ahead of myself — feeling excited about the prospect of two action franchises that involve grown-up leading men, and no spandex?