Issa Rae Tackling Bollywood Crime Comedy 'Badmash' (Exclusive)

Issa Rae - Getty - H 2019
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Rae's ColorCreative banner has teamed with ShivHans Pictures to develop the pitch by 'Umbrella Academy' writer Sneha Koorse.

Issa Rae, who co-created HBO’s Emmy-nominated comedy Insecure, is going Bollywood.

Rae and her partners at the production banner ColorCreative, Deniese Davis and Sara Rastogi, are developing Badmash, a Bollywood-meets-mafia story. Shivani Rawat of ShivHans Pictures, which is financing development, is also producing the project.

A pitch hailing from Sneha Koorse, a writer who has worked on Netflix's Umbrella Academy and Daredevil, Badmash is a darkly comedic noir inspired by one of India’s worst-kept secrets: Big-city gangsters used Bollywood films as a front to launder drug money.

Producers say Badmash will adopt the taut dialogue, tangled character webs and complex romance of the crime genre set against the backdrop of 1980s Mumbai at the height of the underworld’s power in the film industry.

The goal is to make an English-language film with an South Asian ensemble cast, blending genre and culture to create a truly internationally feeling feature. 

"We started ColorCreative to give a platform to stories that the traditional studio system tends to overlook, stories like Badmash,” Rae said Wednesday in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

Stated Rawat: "Badmash is a unique and engaging story set during a fascinating chapter in Bollywood history.”

Rae co-created HBO's Insecure, on which she acted as writer, executive producer and actress. She next stars in The Lovebirds, a comedy that also stars Kumail Nanjiani, which Paramount is set to release next year. Rae is also producing a reimagining of 1990s crime thriller Set It Off for New Line, in which she will also star.

Rae is repped by UTA, 3 Arts and Hansen Jacobson. Koorse is repped by Circle of Confusion and Myman Greenspan.