Kimberly Peirce has signed on to direct the drama The Knife, for Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment inspired by the true story of a South Central gang member who became a paid FBI informant, reports Deadline.

The script is being written by Vineet Dewan and Brian Grazer is producing.

The project is based on "The Inside Man", a 2008 GQ Magazine article by Guy Lawson, which told the story of the young Crips member who simply walked into an FBI office to offer his services because he was worn down by the senseless crime and killing around him.

Kimberly Peirce had this to say about the project:

I fell in love with the two characters and immediately saw a classic buddy movie with this rookie gang-banger and a hard-nosed FBI agent who have to overcome a mutual distrust. The agent wants to infiltrate the gang at a time when the FBI had no understanding of gang structure. They were effective but there are so many conflicts that play out, like can you be an informant without being a rat, to can you trust an informant if his reason for cooperating isn't that you will otherwise send him to prison for another crime he committed?

I love true undercover crime stories like On the Waterfront, The Departed and Donnie Brasco, but Hollywood is moving away from films like these. We walked in and said, here's the movie, it will cost under $30 million. And we walked out with much more than a development deal. It also helped that The Town and Takers came in at $30 million or less and grossed over $100 million. The studio told us to move as fast as we can and that's what we're doing."

No production date has been set.