EXCLUSIVE: Studiocanal has hired Alex Holmes to adapt The Killer for Pierre Morel to direct. This comes after Studiocanal acquired rights to Tom Wood’s critically acclaimed Victor The Assassin book franchise, with Morel attached along with The Picture Company to produce with Sentient Entertainment. Studiocanal and Morel collaborated on The Gunman, the action thriller starring Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Idris Elba and Ray Winstone that Open Road Films will release in February. They are hoping to hatch a franchise with Wood’s six-book series. The Killer is the first book in that series. It centers on Victor, a mysterious, quick-witted and charismatic gun for hire whose conscience begins to catch up with him and as a result puts him at odds with his employers.

Holmes comes out of the UK and is an up-and-coming director-writer who just adapted Ex-Pats for CBS Films and who helmed the Lance Armstrong docu Stop At Nothing, and wrote and directed episodes of the miniseries House Of Saddam and the Cinemax series Strike Back.

Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman of The Picture Company are producing alongside Sentient’s Renee Tab and Christopher Tuffin. This deal was the first project when Picture Company made a deal with Studiocanal after its principals, Rona and Heineman, were producers on Gunman as well as Non-Stop for Studiocanal. CAA and Curtis Brown rep Holmes.