Academy Award winning actresses Natalie Portman (Black Swan, Jackie) and Lupita Nyong’o (Twelve Years a Slave, Us) will tackle the first lead television roles of their careers when they appear together in the upcoming Apple TV Plus limited series Lady in the Lake, as reported by Entertainment Weekly. The two movie stars are teaming up behind the camera as well, as both are credited as members of the show’s executive producer team, Entertainment Weekly reports.
Lady in the Lake is reportedly a mystery set in Baltimore during the 1960’s: “Housewife-turned-reporter Maddie Schwartz (Portman)… pursues the case of a missing woman named Cleo Sherwood (Nyong’o) , whose body was found in a city park lake. As Cleo’s ghost follows Maddie on her quest to uncover the mystery of her death, the two women’s lives become intertwined,” via IndieWire. The story is allegedly inspired by real-world investigations into the 1969 disappearance and death of barmaid Shirley Parker, a case which remains unsolved over forty years later, Baltimore Fishbowl reports. Following the discovery of her body in the fountain at the Druid Hill Park Reservoir, Parker entered local legend as Baltimore’s storied Lady in the Lake, according to The Washington Post.
The limited series is based on the 2019 novel of the same name by best-selling author Laura Lippman (Charm City, Hardly Knew Her), Entertainment Weekly reports. Much like the series’ main character Maddie, Lippman grew up in Maryland and has a background in journalism, having spent two decades in daily news, according to the bio on her official website. Lippman acknowledged how close she felt to Maddie as a writer: “There is a lot of ethical turmoil about being someone who writes books inspired by real-life crimes… I like to think I’m a little more introspective about it than Maddie, that I’m trying to be as ethical as I can, that I’m trying to do the right thing,” via NPR. Lippman, like Portman and Nyong’o, is an executive producer on Lady in the Lake. She already has a familiarity with the television industry from being married to The Wire creator David Simon for over ten years, as reported by Oregon Live.
The creators of Lady in the Lake are Dre Thomas (The Man in the High Castle, The Messengers) and Alma Har’el (LoveTrue, Woman of the Year), according to Entertainment Weekly. Har’el, who will serve as the series’ in-house director, posted on her Twitter account about how excited she was to collaborate with Lippman, Nyong’o and Portman. Her tweet references Portman’s political statement garment from her 2020 Academy Awards outfit, which functioned as the star’s response to the absence of female nominees in the Best Director category, as reported by Harper’s Bazaar.
2020 The one & only Natalie Portman took me to the Oscars on her cape alongside some of my favorite women directors… One plague later I get to burn the screen with her & the masterful Lupita Nyong’o 🙌 Thank you to the whole team and to Laura Lipman #Ladyinthelake pic.twitter.com/EJt8rJOSUq
— Alma Har’el🌪 עלמה (@Almaharel) March 10, 2021