Production of a new, limited television series adapted from a Laura Lippman novel abruptly stopped on Friday after drug dealers urging the cast and crew to clear the set on the west side of downtown threatened to shoot someone, Baltimore Police Department spokesperson James Moses said.
“The leaders of the production decided to err on the side of caution and reschedule the shoot after they found another location,” Moses added.
The dealers also attempted to extort $50,000 from the crew to stand down, he said, but producers declined to pay. The encounter unfolded on the 200 block of Park Avenue, a couple blocks from Lexington Market.
The series, called “Lady in the Lake,” stars Academy Award winner Natalie Portman and Emmy nominee Moses Ingram and is set to premiere on Apple TV+. Created and directed by Alma Har’el, the show takes place in 1960s Baltimore, when a white housewife turned investigative reporter probing an unsolved murder clashes with a Black community activist fighting for social justice.
The 2019 Lippman novel the series is adapted from was a New York Times bestseller. Lippman is a former Baltimore Sun reporter and the author of more than 20 novels.
Filming for the series started in Maryland in April and is expected to continue through October, according to a state Department of Commerce press release. Gov. Larry Hogan touted the positive impact production would have on the state when production company Endeavor Content first announced plans to film here.
Representatives of Endeavor Content and Portman could not be reached for comment. Lippman could not be reached for comment.