Natalie Portman’s Apple TV+ drama Lady In The Lake stops production over extortion threats

·2 min read
Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman and Moses Ingram have been filming their upcoming Apple TV+ series Lady In The Lake in Maryland this summer, but production in Baltimore was just halted for a somewhat surprising reason: “Drug dealers” threatened to show up on set and “shoot someone” if the production didn’t give them $50,000. That comes from The Baltimore Banner (via Variety), which says “the leaders of the production” declined the extortion offer and simply rescheduled the filming after they found another location. (The original location was “the 200 block of Park Avenue, a couple blocks from Lexington Market,” if you know Baltimore and that means something to you.)

The way the Baltimore Banner story describes all of this, it sounds like the “drug dealers” actually went to the set in person and were “urging the cast and crew to clear the set” when they made this threat, which… sounds like it would’ve made for an eventful day. How often do people filming major TV shows in the middle of a city have to deal with extortion threats from local drug dealers? And how often do the people running these productions just say “yeah, no thanks” and bounce? It’s certainly getting some weird buzz for Lady In The Lake.

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The Apple TV+ series is directed by Alma Har’el and is based on a book of the same name by Laura Lippman. It’s about a mother in 1966 Baltimore who decides to become an investigative journalist after being drawn to an unsolved murder. Because of that, she crosses paths with another woman working toward social justice for the city’s Black community. The show doesn’t have a premiere date yet, but seeing as how drug dealers visiting the set and demanding $50,000 in exchange for not shooting someone apparently wasn’t a huge setback, it’s probably not facing any dramatic delays at least.