Emmy-nominated actress Issa Rae (HBO’s Insecure) is set to produce and potentially star in a new version of the 1996 crime drama Set It Off for New Line, Collider has learned.
The project is still in early development, so it’s unclear whether this new film be a remake or a reboot or what have you, but it will be developed as a starring vehicle for Rae, though it’s unknown which character she has set her sights on playing.
The original Set It Off was directed by F. Gary Gray, and was the rare studio film to star four women of color in leading roles, as Jada Pinkett Smith played Stony, Queen Latifah played Cleo, Vivica A. Fox played Frankie and Kimberly Elise played Tisean — four women who come together in desperation to rob a bank in Los Angeles, only to begin mistrusting each other soon after.
John C. McGinley, Blair Underwood and Dr. Dre. co-starred in the film, which was written by Takashi Bufford and Kate Lanier.
Syreeta Singleton (Black Monday) and Nina Gloster (Star) have been hired to write the new script, and Rae will produce the film via her lssa Rae Productions banner along with Montrel McKay.
I remember watching Set It Off as a kid, and it was pretty damn good, but by no means untouchable. The original was a hit, grossing $36 million at the domestic box office on a $9 million production budget, so if New Line can keep costs reasonable, this is the kind of female-fronted film that could become a “surprise” hit just like Hustlers this past weekend. After all, Set It Off is a similarly-themed movie about crime and how it affects the push-and-pull of female friendship. So perhaps this is a wise move on New Line’s part. We’ll have to wait and see, but I’m eager to learn what direction Rae is taking this new movie, and which role she intends to play.
Best known as the writer, creators and star of HBO’s Insecure, Rae also executive produces A Black Lady Sketch Show for the network. On the big screen, she most recently starred in Universal’s charming fairy tale Little, and she’ll soon be seen opposite Lakeith Stanfield in The Photograph from the very same studio. She also stars opposite Kumail Nanjiani in The Lovebirds, which Paramount will release next year. Rae is represented by UTA, 3 Arts Entertainment and attorney John V. Meigs Jr.