EXCLUSIVE: Imagine Entertainment chief Brian Grazer stepped in front of the competition to win screen rights to the Rob Hart novel The Warehouse. In a high six figure deal, Imagine moved quickly to beat out four other bidders for movie and TV. The novel will be a directing vehicle for Grazer’s partner Ron Howard, who will be in Cannes next week for the world premiere of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Grazer will produce The Warehouse.

This all happened with great speed as the book was recently auctioned to the Random House imprint The Crown Publishing Group and then was a hot title at the London Book Fair. That created the movie momentum.

The novel will be published next year. In a near-future America ravaged by political strife and climate change, an online retail giant named Cloud brands itself a global savior but hides a dark truth. Two of its employees, one in security and the other a spy, meet and fall in love. However, their relationship is soon threatened by the deadly nature of the spy’s mission and the all-powerful mega-corporation they both work for.

Hart is the author of the Ash McKenna private detective series and he is also the publisher of Mysterious Press.com. His books include New Yorked, City of Rose, South Village, and The Woman from Prague, and he wrote Scott Free with James Patterson. His next book, Potter’s Field, will be published by Polis in July.

The deal was brokered by APA for HSG Agency’s Josh Getzler.