It seems American Crime Story and 61st Street star Courtney B. Vance is about to be on the other side of the law. Deadline is reporting that Vance will star in and produce Heist 88, a heist film based on one of the largest heists in American history. The film will be the first made under the renewed overall deal between MTV Entertainment Studios and Bassett Vance Production, Vance’s production company with Angela Bassett.
In Heist 88, Vance will be playing Jeremy Horne, a “criminal mastermind” in 1988 with a knack for convincing people to do exactly what he wants. With the threat of going to prison looming over Jeremy, he decides, in true heist movie fashion, to pull one last job. Jeremy Horne is reportedly loosely based on real-life heist mastermind Armand Moore. In 1989, Moore was convicted of stealing over sixty-nine million dollars from the First National Bank of Chicago by manipulating young bank employees to help him exploit the wire transfer system at the time.
Vance is a two-time Emmy-winning actor — he won his first Emmy for playing O.J. Simpson’s lawyer Johnnie Cochran in American Crime Story. He also starred for five seasons as the Assistant District Attorney on Law & Order: Criminal Intent and currently plays a lawyer in the new AMC drama 61st Street. Vance’s other roles include his Emmy-winning performance on HBO’s Lovecraft Country and The Hunt for the Red October.
Vance gave a brief statement on the film and his character, saying:
“This character is inspired by a man who was able to convince a small group of young people who were at the lowest rungs of their bank to join him in committing one of the biggest crimes against the US banking system in this country’s history. At its core, it’s an unapologetically compelling story that throws back to where we are today. What is the American dream and who does it work for?”
Vance will be joined in the film by Keesha Sharp, Bentley Green, Keith David, Xavier Clyde, Nican Robinson, and Precious Way. Heist 88 will be directed by Menhaj Huda from a script written by Dwayne Johnson-Cochran. Huda is known for directing the crime drama Kidulthood as well as episodes of shows like The Flash and Batwoman. Johnson-Cochran has previously written the film Love and Action in Chicago, which also starred Vance.
Heist 88 is said to have been a passion project for the trio of Vance, Bassett, and Johnson-Cochran. Over the years the story has been planned as a series at both FX and HBO. But, after Bassett Vance Productions signed an overall deal with MTV Entertainment Studios in 2020 it was decided to make it into a movie.
Heist 88 is currently in production in Chicago. Stay tuned to Collider for any future updates on the project.