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Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance’s Bassett Vance Productions begins work on Heist 88

Paramount Media Networks announced an overall deal renewal between MTV Entertainment Studios and Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance’s Bassett Vance Productions. The partnership is a result of Paramount’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative, a global effort to provide opportunities and help advance content creation for a new generation of BIPOC and women leaders in front of and behind the camera.

“Angela and Courtney have masterfully brought to the forefront events from our history in order to tell exhilarating and dramatic stories that resonate with global audiences,” said Nina L. Diaz, President of Content and Chief Creative Officer, Paramount Media Networks & MTV Entertainment Studios. “It’s a privilege to continue our fruitful creative relationship and shared commitment to amplify diverse creators and new voices.”

Heist 88, Bassett Vance Productions’ first feature film from the overall deal, is in production now. Previously announced titles from the MTV Entertainment Studios and Bassett Vance Productions partnership include Smithsonian Channel(TM)’s One Thousand Years of Slavery and a limited series on the Tulsa Race Massacre, slated to be released in 2023.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with MTV Entertainment Studios,” said Bassett Vance Productions Head of Development, Lynnette Ramirez. “We are looking forward to developing more films together beyond our current active slate, which includes the drama Heist 88 and the shared vision for our upcoming four-part event series based on The Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921.”

Currently shooting in Chicago, Heist 88 reunites two-time Emmy(R) Award-winning actor Vance with Keesha Sharp, who portrayed “Dale Cochran” in the award-winning limited series The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story, and Bentley Green, who recently starred alongside Vance in AMC’s 61st Street. Inspired by true events, Heist 88 is the unbelievable story of one of the largest bank heists ever to occur in the United States.

Jeremy Horne (Vance), a criminal mastermind with an innate ability to convince anyone to do just about anything, decides to pull one last job before going to prison. He recruits four young bank employees to steal close to $80 million dollars in a daring and brazen assault on the US banking system. Heist 88 takes place in a time before widespread computerization and the vast cybersecurity of today.

“I have always been drawn to characters that are multi-layered, regardless of whether they’re a savior or a villain. 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,” says Vance. “At its core, it’s an unapologetically compelling story, which will be told through the lens of a powerful cast, that when the American Dream is not accessible to everyone, decisions are often made based on those inequities. I anticipate that Heist 88 will be a must-watch, particularly in light of the fascination with and popularity of true crime stories on today’s streaming and network TV landscape.”

Heist 88 also stars Keith David, Xavier Clyde, Nican Robinson and Precious Way. Additional character descriptions include:

  • Keesha Sharp will play Bree Barnes, an elegant, smart, political consultant that possesses a criminal mind and is Jeremy’s love interest.
  • Keith David will play Buddha Ray (Raymond Oliver), a master safecracker and mentor to Jeremy.
  • Xavier Clyde will play Danny Pugh, a nerdy, comic book collector who is brilliant with numbers, data and loves research but has given up on his job at the bank.
  • Bentley Green will play Marshall King, a cocky, energetic, house music DJ and Jeremy’s nephew.
  • Nican Robinson will play Rick Windom, a young loyal bank employee working in “the back of the bank” for nearly six years with dreams of becoming a stockbroker.
  • Precious Way will play LaDonna Sanders, a beautiful, bright, bank employee who is ambitious but unseen at First Chicago Bank.

The film is written by Dwayne Johnson-Cochran (NBC’s Minor Adjustments) with Menhaj Huda (Kidulthood) set to direct. Bassett Vance Productions is set to produce alongside MTV Entertainment Studios and Gunpowder & Sky.

Heist 88 is executive produced by Angela Bassett, Courtney B. Vance, Lynnette Ramirez, and Dwayne Johnson-Cochran for Bassett Vance Productions, Van Toffler and Barry Barclay for Gunpowder & Sky and Amal Baggar (EP) and Donny Hugo Herran (EIC) oversee for MTV Entertainment Studios.

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