Natalie Portman Apple TV+ Series Halts Filming Following Local Threats

Avatar of Christine Gonzales
Last Updated by on February 8, 2023

After the extortion threats, The shooting location for the upcoming series on Apple TV plus has changed, and the production is currently looking for some other places to resume work.

Following threats of violence from Baltimore residents, filming for Lady in the Lake, Natalie Portman’s planned Apple TV+ series, has been delayed. The miniseries, based on Laura Lippman’s 2019 book of the same name, is set in the 1960s and follows Maddie Schwartz, a budding investigative journalist, as she attempts to solve the enigma surrounding the strange passing of a young mother and progressive activist Cleo Sherwood.

The first project streaming service was mentioned in March 2021, when Portman and Lupita Nyong’o had already committed to playing Schwartz and Sherwood, respectively.

Creator Alma Harel, who previously rose to fame with the release of her highly praised feature film debut, Honey Boy, is set to launch all the episodes of Lady in the Lake. The remaining cast members of the show, in addition to Portman, are Y’Lan Noel, Mikey Madison, Brett Gelman, Noah Jupe, Mike Epps, and Byron Bowers.

Surprisingly, it was announced in May that Nyong’o would leave the program for an unspecified reason, with Moses Ingram eventually being awarded the part of Cleo Sherwood. Although she also starred in Disney+’s Obi-Wan Kenobi and the 2021 rendition of The Tragedy of Macbeth, the Emmy-nominated actress is mostly recognized for her role as Jolene in The Queen’s Gambit.

Several months ago, Lady in the Lake began filming in Baltimore, but, as reported by Deadline, the shooting has been postponed as a result of threats from the local community. The Baltimore Police Department claims that while the team was shooting in the downtown area, several individuals approached the producers and threatened to shoot someone if they didn’t stop.

In addition, the workers asked to be paid an undefined sum, which caused the whole production to stop while they looked for a new location. According to The Baltimore Banner, drug traffickers allegedly tried to extort $50,000 from the output, but the producers refused to pay.

This unusual explanation for a production delay has probably raised some concerns among those working on Lady in the Lake. Productions have been hampered by troubling occurrences over the previous year, including the tragic gunshot on the Rust set and an actual gunfight and separate explosive device affecting the Justified revival.

Fortunately, no one seemed hurt in the instance of Lady in the Lake. Nevertheless, it’s wise of the producers to take precautions and move the series to a new site, which should secure everyone’s safety.

It will be fascinating to see if Lady in the Lake’s final release is impacted by the development stop that is now taking place. Although a new filming site will probably be discovered sooner rather than later, there could still be problems with future reshoots or needing to match any recorded material.

There’s no specific launch date, so there’s no real need to find a new location for filming. However, the cast for “The Lady in the Lake” wants to move on as quickly as possible following this unsettling experience.