According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lions Gate Films announced Thursday an overall deal with comic book author Steve Niles. Peter Block, president of acquisitions and co-productions, and Michael Paseornek, president of Lions Gate Films production, said the company has acquired worldwide rights to several books in Niles' catalog in addition to establishing a first-look deal on all film projects by or found by Niles and actor Thomas Jane (The Punisher).

The deal includes Niles' titles The Lurkers, The Dark Country, which has been adapted into a screenplay by Tab Murphy (Tarzan), In the Blood and a new project to be named at next week's Comic-Con International in San Diego.

Jane intends to take leading or supporting roles in each of the films, and he and Niles will serve as producers with Lions Gate. Block, Paseornek, senior vp acquisitions Jason Constantine and director of development Alex Franklin will oversee production for the studio.