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Apple TV+ halts 'Lady in the Lake' filming after threats of violence

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The production team for Apple TV+ drama "The Lady in the Lake" have suspended filming in Baltimore following threats of shooting and extortion.

"The Lady in the Lake" is a drama serial starring Natalie Portman in her first television work and is based on the novel by Laura Lippman. Apple TV+ gave it a straight-to-series order, meaning the producers didn't have to make a pilot episode, and filming began in April 2022.

According to Variety, Baltimore police have confirmed that on Friday, August 26, 2022, producers on the show received threats of violence. Specifically, producers filming on Park Avenue were told to shut down production or someone would be shot. Described only as a group of locals, the people involved also demanded $50,000 to allow filming to continue.

While Apple TV+ has not commented on the situation, Variety says that producers decided to "err on the side of caution," and halt production. Police report that the producers have opted to scout for an alternative location and to reschedule filming.

Lippman's husband is David Simon, creator of Baltimore-set "The Wire" and "Homicide: Life on the Street," previously a reporter in the city. He took to Twitter to praise how police and local authorities deal with situations such as this.

"The Lady in the Lake" is set in Baltimore in 1966 and is written by Alma Har'el and Dre Ryan. Apple says that the show concerns "an unsolved murder [which] pushes housewife and mother Maddie Schwartz (Portman) to reinvent her life as an investigative journalist."

Lupita Nyong'o co-stars as Cleo Sherwood, "a hard-working woman juggling motherhood, many jobs and a passionate commitment to advancing Baltimore's Black progressive agenda."

Author Laura Lippman is one of several executive producers on the series, including show creator and director Alma Har'el, plus star Portman. One of the production companies involved is the UK's Bad Wolf with "Doctor Who" executive Julie Gardner.