Millennium Entertainment has won a bidding war for the action-thriller spec screenplay The Civilian, which has the potential to start a new franchise for the studio.

Husband and wife writing duo Rachel Long and Brian Pittman are behind the script, which follows an American doctor whose identity was stolen by a covert operative. In order to clear his name, the physician must complete the spy's dangerous mission. The deal was said to be in the mid-six figures for the screenplay.

Millennium president Mark Gill is producing, with Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, John Thompson and Christine Crow executive producing. The project is being fast-tracked into production, although it isn't known when shooting may begin.

The studio already has action franchises such as The Expendables and Olympus Has Fallen, which was green lit for a sequel last month.