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Production Of Apple TV+'s 'Lady in The Lake' Starring Natalie Portman, Lupita Nyong’o Halted

The producers for the series, based on the Laura Lippman novel, said a driver on the set was approached Friday by two men who brandished a gun and demanded $50,000 for them to continue shooting.

By Jill Sederstrom
Natalie Portman attends the "Thor: Love and Thunder" photocall

Production of the Apple TV+ series “Lady in the Lake” came to an abrupt halt Friday after the cast and crew were threatened with gun violence.

Baltimore Police Department told Variety that two apparently local men had approached a crew member of the television series production — which is being adapted from a Laura Lippman novel of the same name — around 4:00 p.m. Friday and threatened to return and shoot someone if the either didn’t stop filming or pay the men.

The men demanded that producers pay then $50,000 to be able to safely continue filming at the Park Avenue location in the city’s downtown; however, producers refused to pay and opted to halt production instead.

“The leaders of the production decided to err on the side of caution and reschedule the shoot after they found another location,” Baltimore Police Department spokesman James Moses told The Baltimore Banner.

Oxygen.com reached out to police but did not receive an immediate response.

Endeavor Content, the studio responsible for the limited series starring Natalie Portman and Lupita Nyong’o, elaborated further on the incident in a statement Sunday to Deadline.

“Friday afternoon, on the Baltimore set of our production “Lady in the Lake” prior to the arrival of the cast and crew, per their call time, a driver on our production crew was confronted by two men, one of whom brandished a gun directed at our driver, and then fled the location,” the statement read. “We are working with the Baltimore Police Department as the investigation is ongoing.”

“The safety and security of our crew, cast and all who work across our productions is our highest priority, and we are thankful no one was injured,” the studio continued. “Production will resume with increased security measures going forward.”

Endeavor Content went on to say it had been a “privilege” to shoot in the city and thanked Mayor Brandon M. Scott and others for their support.

Lippman’s husband, David Simon, who created the popular HBO series “The Wire,” which was also set and filmed in Baltimore, commended police for their efforts over the years.

“Not my production. Don’t know all details. But we shot 200 hours of television over two decades. Communicated where we shot,” he wrote on Twitter. “Always a few loudmouths hyping; always folks in crew — locations, security, BPD — trained to firmly but respectfully respond. Baltimore is good people.”

“Lady in the Lake” is based on Lippman’s best-selling book, which tells the story of a 1960s Baltimore housewife who takes on the role of investigative journalist in an attempt to piece together an unsolved murder. The investigation “sets her on a collision course” with a passionate woman committed to advancing "Baltimore’s Black progressive agenda," according to an April press release.

Lippman, a journalist turned best-selling author, has written over 20 mysteries. She spoke with Oxygen.com last year as part of Oxygen’s Book Club to discuss her novel “Dream Girl” and what she feels makes a compelling mystery.

"What's so interesting to me is that as lot of people think the idea is it. All you need is the idea. Ideas are not even a dime a dozen, ideas are so cheap. I never worry about ideas. Everything is about the execution of the idea," Lippman told Oxygen.com correspondent Stephanie Gomulka.

“Lady in the Lake” began filming in April and is expected to continue production into the fall.

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