Deadline understands that HBO won the rights to the book in a competitive situation after it was published in March and debuted at number two on the New York Times’ Bestsellers list at the start of the global pandemic. It is being developed as a limited series.
Schuur, who was a writer and producer on Netflix’s Unbelievable and is co-showrunner of HBO’s upcoming version of In Treatment, will write the pilot and will exec produce with Salma Hayek and Jose Tamez, who runs Hayek’s Ventanarosa Productions, and author Wetmore.
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It is Ventanarosa Productions’ latest partnership with WarnerMedia after the company, which produced Frida and Ugly Betty, struck a first-look deal with HBO Max in June.
The book begins on Valentine’s Day, 1976 in the West Texas oilfield town of Odessa. It is told through a network of women whose lives all change when a 14-year-old Mexican girl is beaten and raped by a white oil-worker. It is Wetmore’s first book.
Jennifer Schuur said, “Crimes against women and certainly against women of color are nothing new, but Elizabeth Wetmore has given us a story that explores this truth in a way that is profoundly intimate while also being an undeniable social and cultural critique. To be able to walk that entire landscape alongside partners in HBO and Salma Hayek who so deeply connect to the material as well is more than I could’ve hoped for when I first fell in love with Valentine.”
Salma Hayek added, “What a thrill to be working with HBO and Jennifer Schuur, whose powerful voicing of the female spirit has captivated me in all her previous work. Valentine is set in the 70’s but it couldn’t be more relevant today, as it centers around finding the courage to stand up for the truth, even when it means facing the outrage of your own kind.”
Jennifer Schuur is represented by Tara Kole at Gang Tyre and UTA, Ventanarosa Productions is represented by CAA, Management 360 and Edelstein Laird & Sobel and Elizabeth Wetmore is represented by UTA and Samantha Shea at Georges Borchardt, Inc.
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