New York-based gumshoe headed back to cinemas.

Deadline is reporting that Warner Bros. Pictures has snapped up rights to the Mickey Spillane series of mystery novels featuring private investigator Mike Hammer with plans for a big screen outing.

First appearing in the 1947 book ‘I, the Jury,’ Hammer was a solitary tough physical guy with an impatience for the legal system and no qualms about killing those who elude its grasp. Spillane’s series was huge when published in paperback; at one point in the 70s, Hammer novels took up seven spots in the 10 bestselling books of all time. The Hammer mysteries have sold 225 million copies globally.

The studio is looking to resurrect the iconic character in an attempt to build an action franchise, but apparently hasn’t decided yet whether to keep Hammer in the hardboiled period setting of the novels, or turn the gumshoes loose in a contemporary setting. It is also undecided as to which book to adapt first.

Film 360’s Guymon Casady and Ben Forkner are producing the reboot with Basil Iwanyk of Thunder Road Productions and Ken Levin, the long-time rep for Spillane’s estate.