EXCLUSIVE: Never Back Down screenwriter Chris Hauty’s debut novel Deep State has been sold to Simon & Schuster’s Emily Bestler Books and is being shopped for film and TV rights by literary agency Original Artists.

The agency describes the book as a contemporary Three Days of the Condor-style thriller with a strong female lead as it focuses on a young woman who leaves the Army to become a White House intern. Haunted by her own demons, she  becomes aware of an assassination plot against a very polarizing president.

Hauty’s book – the writer’s first novel – was sold by Ann Rittenberg at Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency to Emily Bestler Books in what is said to be a mid-six figure deal that includes a sequel titled Counter Measure.

“I wanted to explore the unlikeliest of heroes,” Hauty tells Deadline. “A true fish out of water in Washington, D.C.’s hothouse environment who perseveres against impossible odds. And writing a novel gave me unlimited freedom to do so, which I had not experienced before as a screenwriter. That said, I think my film career helped me create a cinematic novel.”

Among the author’s screenwriting credits are 2008’s Never Back Down starring Djimon Honsou, Amber Heard and Sean Faris, and 2017’s Sniper: Ultimate Kill starring Tom Berenger.