EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures acquired screen rights to Out of Range, a book proposal for a two-book mystery that will be written by Hank Steinberg, the creator of the CBS series Without A Trace. The movie sale came after the novel was set up in a high six-figure deal at Harper Collins on the basis of the proposal and a few sample chapters. The film option deal was also in the six-figures and it closed late last night. Steinberg will write the script and Erwin Stoff will produce. While studios have been slow to jump on pitches lately, the movie deal made by WME definitely found momentum after 3 Arts’ Richard Abate made the publishing deal and created a demand. The book will be published in 2011.

Out of Range begins in Steinberg’s wheelhouse: it starts with a kidnapping. A husband see his wife snatched while he and their two small children watch helplessly. The stay at home dad strikes back and becomes determined to find her at all costs. It puts him smack in the center of a dangerous, clandestine world of international espionage. Steinberg, who has scripted the TV pics 61 and RKF, is separately writing the feature Caves of Steel for Fox. Out of Range is his first novel.