Project has been in development since 1997

Jerry Bruckheimer Films isn’t giving up on “Apaches.” The company has tapped Sean O’Keefe and Will Staples to take a stab at adapting Lorenzo Carcaterra’s novel about a group of renegade cops.

The Disney-based producer has been developing the project since 1997, when the studio picked up the book for Bruckheimer to produce for Touchstone as a potential franchise, beating out Warner Bros. and Paramount in a bidding war for the property.

Script for “Apaches” will be loosely based on the gritty crime novel that revolves around a group of retired New York City cops who form a renegade unit to bring down the most vicious criminals in Gotham.

Carcaterra, who’s written and produced episodes of “Law and Order,” and whose books include “Sleepers,” followed up “Apaches” with the sequel novel “Chasers,” published by Ballantine in 2007.

A number of writers have made an attempt to adapt the book over the years, including Marshall Todd (“Bad Boys II”), John Ridley, John Fusco (“The Forbidden Kingdom”) and David Klass (“Walking Tall”).

O’Keefe and Staples are generating heat for two scripts: “World’s Most Wanted,” which Neal Moritz will produce at Universal, and their adaptation of the book “The Cruelest Miles” that Walden Media and Mark Johnson are prepping to start lensing early next year. They also penned “The Murder of King Tut” for Sony and helmer Roland Emmerich.

O’Keefe & Staples are repped by ICM and managed by Brian Lutz.

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