Issa Rae Developing Remake of 'Set It Off' Movie

Issa Rae, the co-creator and star of the HBO series “Insecure” is reportedly in the early development on a re-imagining of New Line’s 1996 crime thriller Set if Off.

Rae is set to produce the movie and will also star in it, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Montrel McKay of Issa Rae Productions will produce alongside Rae, and Syreeta Singleton and Nina Gloster have been hired to write the script, Variety reported.

Gary Gray directed the original in 1996, and it made over $41 million at the box office. The movie tells the story of four Black women who are friends and band together to successfully pull off bank robberies in Los Angeles. The movie stars Jada Pinkett Smith as Stony, Queen Latifah as Cleo, Vivica A. Fox as Frankie, and Kimberly Elise as Tisean. Throughout the movie, relationships begin to change as the friends lose trust with one another while they continue robbing banks.

Rae has kept busy this year starring in different projects. She starred alongside Regina Hall and Marsai Martin in the comedy Little, which is a movie about an overbearing boss who is transformed into the child version of herself overnight. The 34-year-old actress and writer is also working on season four of her hit HBO TV show “Insecure.” The show, created by Rae and comedian Larry Wilmore, is a series about a Black woman and her best friend navigating modern-day issues and dealing with their own insecurities.

Rae was also the voice of Zuri’s mother in the short film Hair Love. The film, which debuted before The Angry Birds Movie 2 in August, is an animated film that tells the story of Stephen and his daughter, Zuri. Stephen is used to having his wife style their daughter’s hair, but one day he must figure out how to style her hair by himself before a big event. Stephen then realizes that the challenge of styling Zuri’s hair will be harder than he expected. Lion Forge Animation produced the short film and Matthew A. Cherry directed it.

“This story was born out of seeing a lack of representation in mainstream animated projects, and also wanting to promote hair love amongst young men and women of color. It is our hope that this project will inspire,” Cherry’s website states.

The short film was funded through a Kickstarter campaign back in 2017 and raised $284,058 out of its $75,000 goal after the fundraiser went viral. Cherry also released a children’s book in May about Zuri and her father.

“To see this project go from a Kickstarter campaign to the big screen is truly a dream come true,” Cherry said in a previous statement to Entertainment Weekly. “I couldn’t be more excited for Hair Love to be playing with The Angry Birds Movie 2 in front of a wide audience and for the world to see our touching story about a Black father trying to figure out how to do his daughter’s hair for the very first time.”

The final version of the film was created in collaboration with Sony Pictures and produced by Cherry, Karen Rupert Toliver, Monica A. Young, and Stacey Newton, along with David Steward II and Carl Reed of Lion Forge Animation, The Hollywood Reporter previously reported. Executive producers of the film include Jordan Peele, Peter Ramsey, Frank Abney, Yara and Keri Shahidi, and many more.

Reed, Lion Forge’s chief creative officer, said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter that he was immediately drawn to Cherry’s story and the project because he has an eight-year-old daughter with 3B hair.

“This film presents such a unique perspective on such a common part of our daily experience, providing a rare onscreen moment for African American parents to connect with. Matthew A. Cherry has given us an uplifting, positive view of Black families; and thanks to Sony Pictures Animation running this theatrically, one that we will have an opportunity to share with the world,” Reed previously told the publication.

Rae is also set to star in two different projects next year. Universal’s The Photograph, will be released on February 14, and Paramount’s The Lovebirds, is set to premiere on April 3, according to Variety.

About the Author

Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.