Atria has re-signed author Vince Flynn, inking him to a four-book deal, while corporate sister CBS Films has optioned the rights to the author's Mitch Rapp character for a potential film franchise. The deal was jointly announced by CBS Films president and CEO Amy Baer and Carolyn Reidy, president and CEO of Simon & Schuster. Atria acquired world rights, including translation and audio, and intends to publish the first book under the agreement in 2010 with a simulataneous english-language release in the UK, Canada and Australia. Flynn was repped in the publishing and film deals by Sloan Harris and Ron Bernstein of ICM.

The desire to land a franchise with the legs of the uber-successful Jason Bourne series presumably made Flynn's Rapp character--a high powered CIA operative globe trotting to foil terrorism plots around the world--particularly desirable to the Hollywood execs. Although the deal comes out of a certain amount of coporate synergy, CBS Films is a sister company to S&S. (Not to be confused with Random House's and HarperCollins' more strategic partnerships with producers and film studios.)

Nonetheless, the hope is that CBS Films' existence will allow more opportunities to shuttle S&S books into film deals. As Reidy noted: "That this [deal] comes about through our relationship with CBS Film is even more exciting for us, and we look forward to seeing Mitch Rapp on the screen, and many more Simon & Schuster properties developed in conjunction with CBS."

CBS Films was established in 2007 with a goal of developing four to six movies annually, with production budgets of approximately $50 million. This is Simon & Schuster's first deal with CBS Films.