Screenwriter/author Jonathan Stokes has sold his new book series A Thrifty Time Travelers’ Guide to Penguin/Viking Press in a heated auction. Several top publishing houses were in the mix on this one, including Harper Collins, Random House and Simon & Schuster. The deal is for a minimum four-book commitment, with the first anticipated for publication in 2017. The series was sold off a proposal, so the movie component of this equation hasn’t been sorted and won’t be until the novel takes shape.

Stokes’ previous book series, Addison Cooke, was published within the Penguin family at Philomel Books, with the first volume due next year.

Stokes just scripted King David for Fox and producers Peter Chernin & Ridley Scott. He previously adapted the Harlan Coben novel Six Years for Paramount and producer Mark Gordon, with Hugh Jackman attached to star. He’s also written scripts on assignment for actor/producers Will Smith and Jeremy Renner, and has landed four original screenplays on the Black List. His spec El Gringo was produced by Joel Silver in 2012.

Stokes is repped by UTA, manager Scott Carr of Management SGC, attorney Gregg Gellman, and book agent Brianne Johnson of Writers’ House, who negotiated the deal.