Bassett Vance Productions, owned by Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance, and MTV Entertainment Studios announced a renewal of their overall deal. This collaboration is the outcome of Paramount’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative, a global initiative to enhance content development for a new generation of BIPOC and female 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.”
Bassett Vance Productions is currently filming Heist 88, the first feature from the overall agreement. One Thousand Years of Slavery on the Smithsonian Channel and a limited series on the Tulsa Race Massacre, both expected for release in 2023, are previously announced projects from the collaboration between MTV Entertainment Studios and Bassett Vance Productions.
“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.”
Heist 88, which is currently filming in Chicago, reunites two-time Emmy® Award-winning actor Vance with Bentley Green and Keesha Sharp, who most recently appeared with Vance in AMC’s 61st Street. Keesha Sharp played “Dale Cochran” in the acclaimed limited series The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Heist 88 is an amazing account of one of the biggest bank robberies to take place in the history of the United States, inspired by actual events.
In the film, criminal mastermind Jeremy Horne (Vance), who has a natural capacity to persuade people to do nearly anything, intends to complete one final operation before being sent to prison. In an audacious and daring attack on the US banking system, he enlists four young bank employees to steal about $80 million. The events of Heist 88 occurred before widespread computerization and the sophisticated cybersecurity of the present.
“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 will also star Keith David, Xavier Clyde, Nican Robinson, and Precious Way.