Lionsgate has taken worldwide rights to an untitled action thriller that Stephen Gaghan will direct and produce.

Gaghan is co-writing the character-driven project with Shannon Burke. Allyn Stewart and Kipp Nelson are serving as executive producers.

The story follows an elite operative who falls from grace and resurfaces as a police officer in Brooklyn, only to discover the organisation he used to fight against has deep local roots.

“Steve has earned the right to have greater control over the creative content of his films along with a meaningful participation in its commercial success,” Lionsgate’s president of motion picture production Alli Shearmur said.

“It’s the kind of deal that Lionsgate is uniquely positioned to offer superior creators like Steve, and the formula works beautifully for all involved…”

For his part Gaghan said Lionsgate had built a “next-generation business model that allows film-makers to participate as true partners in the economic value they’re generating.”

Wolfgang Hammer, Lionsgate’s senior vice-president of motion picture production, brought the project to Lionsgate and will supervise with Shearmur.

Hammer negotiated the deal with David Wirtschafter of WME and Steve Warren of Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren & Richman on behalf of Gaghan.