Keke Palmer And SZA To Star In Issa Rae-Produced Buddy Comedy From TriStar Pictures

EXCLUSIVE: It looks like the recent team-up on Saturday Night Live went very well as Keke Palmer and four-time Grammy winner SZA are set to star in an untitled buddy comedy movie from TriStar Pictures, with producer Isaa Rae producing. Rap Sh!t director Lawrence Lamont is set to direct, with the screenplay written by his Rap Sh!t teammate Syreeta Singleton, who served as the series’ showrunner.

Plot details being kept under wraps, but Rae and Sara Diya Rastogi will produce through Rae’s banner HOORAE, joined by ColorCreative’s Deniese Davis, and Charles D. King, James Lopez and Poppy Hanks from Macro Film Studios. Singleton is co-producing. Big Boss’ Palmer and Sharon Palmer are executive producing. Macro Film Studios is coming on board to co-finance and produce.

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The project came together from the CoCre lab at Sony Pictures. The lab was a previous pact between ColorCreative and Columbia Pictures to source and incubate emerging, diverse screenwriters to develop and write their first studio feature based on original ideas.

Palmer and SZA teamed for Saturday Night Live when Palmer hosted and SZA was the musical guest. The movie marks SZA’s acting debut; the musician had been considering a number of projects, and the opportunity to reunite with Palmer was too good to pass up.

Palmer rose to prominence through her breakout role in Akeelah and the Bee and has gone on to star in more than 25 films and 30 TV shows including Jordan Peele’s Nope; Roadside Attractions’ Alice, which she also executive produced; STX’s Hustlers, Fox’s Scream Queens; and Nickelodeon’s True Jackson, VP. She recently launched her podcast Baby, This is Keke Palmer for Wondery/Amazon, and founded her own digital network, KeyTV, for which she has written, produced and starred in various original content including her directorial debut, the short film Big Boss, accompanied by an album of the same title, released in May 2023.

Palmer earned a 2021 Emmy Award for her self-created series Turnt Up With the Taylors, and recently made history as the first Black woman to win Outstanding Host For A Game Show at the Emmys for her work hosting NBC’s reboot of Password.

SZA is an Oscar nominee and four-time Grammy winner whose major label debut album Ctrl landed at No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart, No. 2 on the R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart and No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart. RIAA-certified three-time platinum, the album received five Grammy nominations. In 2018 she collaborated with Kendrick Lamar in the song “All the Stars” for Black Panther. The song received four nominations at the 61st Grammys including Record of the Year and Song of the Year, along with Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for Original Song.

Lamont has directed music videos for some of the industry’s biggest artists including J. Cole, Big Sean, Kanye West, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Jhene Aiko, Nas and Snoop Dogg. His music video for Big Sean’s “IDFWU” won BET’s Video of the Year and most recently MTV’s Best Hip Hop video.

Palmer is repped by 3 Arts Entertainment, Hertz Lichtenstein, Young & Polk and LUNA PR. SZA is repped by WME for theatrical and Top Dawg Entertainment. Lamont is repped by CoCre and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole. Singleton is repped by CoCre and UTA.

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