Issa Rae is producing Tanya Smith’s upcoming memoir The Ghost in the Machine alongside Davide Heyman. Rae will produce through her Issa Rae Productions and Heyman will produce his Heyday Films to update the memoir into a feature film for Netflix. Smith will exec produce.
The memoir tells Smith’s unbelievable story— of how a middle-class black girl from the North Side of Minneapolis would, in the words of the FBI, “become one of the single biggest threats to the entire United States banking system.”
The film will follow her extraordinary story of creating a sophisticated wire fraud scheme and outwitting the FBI and prosecutors, who underestimated her intelligence for years, before her life ultimately fell apart, leading to two prison escapes and finally serving 13 years of a 24-year sentence – at the time, the longest sentence handed down to any white-collar criminal.
Smith’s upcoming memoir will be published in 2021 by Amazon. It chronicles her rise and fall and it shares how she finally came to terms with her past and rebuilt her life. Montrel McKay and Sara Rastogi are overseeing on behalf of Issa Rae Productions and Jillian Share and Jeffrey Clifford are overseeing on behalf of Heyday Films.
Rae’s HBO series Insecure has earned eight Emmy nominations including Outstanding Comedy Series and Issa Rae herself scoring one for the Lead Actress category. Issa Rae most recently produced and starred in the Netflix original film Lovebirds. Up next for her, Rae is executive producing Seen & Heard. It’s a documentary for HBO that will tell the history of black TV pioneers.