Inside Man is a 2006 American crime thriller film directed by Spike Lee, and written by Russell Gewirtz. The film centers on an elaborate bank heist on Wall Street over a 24-hour period. It stars Denzel Washington as Detective Keith Frazier, the NYPD's hostage negotiator; Clive Owen as Dalton Russell, the mastermind who orchestrates the heist; and Jodie Foster as Madeleine White, a Manhattan power broker who becomes involved at the request of the bank's founder, Arthur Case (Christopher Plummer), to keep something in his own personal safe deposit box protected from the robbers. Inside Man marks the fourth film collaboration between Washington and Lee.
Gewirtz spent five years developing the film's premise before working on his first original screenplay. After he completed the script in 2002, Imagine Entertainment purchased it to be made by Universal Studios, with Imagine co-founder Ron Howard attached to direct. After Howard stepped down, his Imagine partner Brian Grazer began looking for a new director to helm the project. After Menno Meyjes turned down the chance to direct, Grazer hired Lee to helm the film. Principal photography for Inside Man began in June 2005 and concluded in August of that year; filming took place on location in New York City. The film premiered in New York on March 20, 2006 before being released in North America on March 24, 2006. Upon release, Inside Man received a generally positive critical response and was a commercial success, grossing over $184 million worldwide.