John Lee Hancock had the biggest hit of his career with 2009's The Blind Side, which went from an underdog success to a Best Picture nominee and the vehicle that got Sandra Bullock her Best Actress Oscar. He's been taking his time picking his next project since then, at one point attaching his name to a true story called Electric Boy Genius, but nothing has come to the fruition in the two years since The Blind Side made its big awards run. Now, at last, Hancock has figured out his next step.

According to Deadline, Hancock is now set to write and direct The Partner, an adaptation of the John Grisham novel of the same name, about a Mississippi lawyer who fakes his own death, steals $90 million from his firm, and goes on the run. It will be the first film adaptation of a Grisham novel since 2004's Christmas With The Kranks, and the first classic John Grisham lawyer movie since 2003's Runaway Jury, which didn't perform nearly as well as his 90s hits like The Rainmaker and The Client. Given the success of last year's The Lincoln Lawyer it seems like there's plenty of room for a straightforward Grisham-style thriller to hit with audiences. The project is set up at New Regency with Arnon Milchan, who previously optioned A Time To Kill, The Client and Runaway Jury; clearly the guy knows the material he likes.

Hancock has also been eyeing a project called Highwaymen, about policemen on the tail of Bonnie and Clyde, but The Partner should be coming soon regardless. Hancock's directing style on The Blind Side was nothing special, but he ought to be pretty well-suited to a legal thriller, especially one set in the South. Don't even pretend you won't watch it when it comes on cable 5 years down the line.

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