'Planet of the Apes' Producers Pick Up Buzzy Female-Centered Western (Exclusive)

'Whiskey When We're Dry,' set for publication in August, follows 17-year-old orphan Jesse Harney as she travels the West in 1885 in search of her outlaw brother.
Courtesy of Viking Books

Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa, the husband-and-wife writer/producer team, have acquired the film and television rights to John Larison’s novel Whiskey When We’re Dry, which is set to be published by Viking in August. 

Described by the publisher as a “gritty, lyrical epic,” the story, set in 1885, centers on just-orphaned 17-year-old Jesse Harney, who disguises herself as a boy and sets out to find her outlaw brother Noah. Along the way, Jesse, a talented shooter and rider, finds herself in the employ of the territorial governor, whose militia is hunting for her brother — dead or alive. Whiskey is narrated in Jesse’s voice as she grapples with her brother's outlaw identity and her own coming of age.

"We are thrilled to be shepherding John’s book — a character piece with heart and all the adventure and scope of an epic,” Jaffa and Silver said in a joint statement about the deal. “The unique, female voice and point of view makes Whiskey a story we are desperate to tell. It's timely, powerful, and unlike any other Western."

Jaffa and Silver are best known for rebooting the Planet of the Apes. They wrote Rise of the Planet of the Apes, co-wrote Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and have been producers on all three installments of the latest iteration of the popular franchise. They also co-wrote Jurassic World and collaborated on the new Avatar sequels, and they co-wrote the script for Disney's live-action version of Mulan, which is set for release in 2020.

Silver and Jaffa are repped by WME and Ken Richman at Hansen Jacobson. Larison is repped by WME and The Gernert Company.  

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