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Gaghan Film Goes Under Cover at Lionsgate

“Syriana” director Stephen Gaghan’s thriller about an operative’s new life finds home at studio.

Lionsgate has acquired the rights to the latest film by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Stephen Gaghan, the studio announced Tuesday. 


The film — an action thriller about a deep-cover operative who loses everything and disappears into Brooklyn to start over — will be both directed and produced by the "Traffic" screenwriter and "Syriana" director. The script is being co-written by Gaghan and Shannon Burke and the project is being executive produced by Allyn Stewart and Kipp Nelson.


“We are very excited to be in business with Stephen Gaghan, a master storyteller who has raised the bar for character-driven suspense in contemporary film," Alli Shearmur, Lionsgate’s President of Motion Picture Production," said in a statement.


"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," 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 Steve, for Lionsgate, and not least, for audiences looking for smart, thrilling entertainment.”


Gaghan said he was excited about working with a studio that believes in "putting the filmmaker at the center of the process:


"They’ve built a next-generation business model that allows filmmakers to participate as true partners in the economic value they’re generating," he said. "It’s an attractive and innovative way to do business, which hopefully will lead to greater risk-taking in the exploration of established genres.”