Issa Rae to produce and star in reimagining of ‘Set It Off’ for New Line
Issa Rae, creator, star and writer of HBO series Insecure, is developing a “reimagining” of the 1996 crime thriller Set It Off.
Rae is producing the film, and plans to star in the project, which will be written by Insecure writer Syreeta Singleton and Star writer Nina Gloster, according to THR. The original film was directed by F. Gary Gray and starred Vivica A. Fox, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Kimberly Elise.
Set It Off centers on four, desperate female friends from the inner-city who turn to robbing banks to make ends meet, then they start mistrusting each other. The film was a box office success, grossing over $41 million against a budget of $9 million.
Set It off marked the film debut of Kimberly Elise and was Latifah’s first feature film role. The project was also F. Gary Gray’s second feature film after New Line Cinema tapped him to helm the project following the success of Friday (1995).
Fun Facts: Singer Brandy was offered a role in Set It Off but declined, and Jada Pinkett Smith wanted to play Cleo but producers had her in mind for the role of Stoney. Also, Queen Latifah put a death clause in her contract after her character was killed off in the film.
“I put a death clause in my contract right after that movie,” she said in an interview on Late Night With Seth Meyers. “I was like, ‘Wait a minute, I’m starting to die too good in these movies. Hold up — if I die, then I can’t be in the sequel.’”
Smith and Queen Latifah would play besties again 21 years later in 2017’s box office smash Girls Trip.
Issa Rae will produce her reimagining of Set It Off with Montrel McKay, her partner at Issa Rae Productions.