EXCLUSIVE: In a high six against potential 7-figure deal, Warner Bros has acquired screen rights to The Ghostman, the upcoming Knopf novel by 23-year old author Roger Hobbs. The deal is high because it comes with a blind script commitment for Hobbs, whose book has recently sold foreign rights in the $3 million range. Kevin McCormick’s Langley Park will produce.

Warner Bros went hard after the novel because it has franchise potential for a young leading man in his 30s. The protagonist is a young man who cleans up messes and helps fugitives disappear. He is careful but gets sucked into a casino heist gone terribly wrong. His former mentor bankrolled the casino heist, which left several dead, and a crack addict in the wind with $1 million in cash that was supposed to pay off a drug debt.The Ghostman finds himself in a race over 48 hours to clean up the mess or his mentor will be in the cross hairs of a ruthless drug kingpin called The Wolf, and there is an attractive CIA agent in the center of things.

The book was brought in by Langley Park exec Rory Koslow, and several other studios were after it. Paul Haggis was attached to the package, but spies tell me that Warner Bros paid a premium to not have an attachment on the project. IPG’s Joel Gotler made the deal for Hobbs and his lit agent Nat Sobel. Hobbs started writing the novel while he was a senior at Reed College.