Lionsgate Partners With Deon Taylor on Pro Football Heist Thriller ‘Free Agents’

Director recently set thriller starring Hilary Swank and Michael Ealy “Fatale” at studio

Deon Taylor
Marcus Redd

Lionsgate is partnering yet again with director Deon Taylor, acquiring Taylor’s “Free Agents,” a heist thriller set in the world of professional sports, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group president Nathan Kahane announced Friday.

Lionsgate in August nabbed “Fatale,” another thriller which Taylor is set to direct starring Hilary Swank and Michael Ealy. But Taylor will now also direct “Free Agents,” and he co-wrote the screenplay with Joe Bockol about a team of pro football players who turn to crime to get back at the team owners who are exploiting and under paying them on and off the field.

Taylor will also produce with Roxanne Taylor for the Hidden Empire banner. Brady Fujikawa is overseeing for Lionsgate.

“Deon is an enormously talented storyteller and director and we think he will turn ‘Free Agents’ into a fascinating and topical crime drama with a lot of depth set in the world of high stakes professional sports,” Kahane said in a statement.

“As a filmmaker, I’ve always been a fan of high-impact heist films and Free Agents is going to bring that level of action and excitement,” Taylor said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to be working with Lionsgate and together, we’re going to deliver a film that will not only entertain audiences, but also spark a conversation about the gritty inner workings of professional sports.”

Taylor’s latest cop thriller “Black and Blue” opens in theaters Friday from Sony’s Screen Gems. The film stars Naomie Harris as a rookie cop who stumbles upon corrupt police officers murdering a criminal and inadvertently captures the footage on her body camera. Frank Grillo, Tyrese Gibson and Mike Colter also star in the film.

And he’s been on quite a tear this year, as Taylor also released “The Intruder” for Screen Gems starring Dennis Quaid, Michael Ealy and Meagan Good. The film made $36.5 million worldwide on an $8 million budget when it opened this May. Lionsgate’s Codeblack Films also released Taylor’s 2018 film “Traffik” starring Paula Patton.