Apple TV+ production starring Natalie Portman faces violent threat in Baltimore

Christi Carras
Los Angeles Times (TNS)
Natalie Portman attends the "Thor: Love and Thunder" photocall at Villa Agrippina Gran Meliá Hotel on July 7, 2022, in Rome. (Franco Origlia/Getty Images for Disney/TNS)

An Apple TV+ and Endeavor Content production shut down on Friday afternoon after Baltimore locals threatened to shoot someone on the set of the limited series.

According to a statement from the Baltimore Police Department, "the locals" warned producers of the forthcoming series "Lady in the Lake" that they would "come back later this evening (and) shoot someone" if they didn't stop filming on the 200 block of Park Avenue. The Baltimore residents then told producers that they would "allow the production to continue" if the producers paid them $50,000.

Adapted from bestselling author Laura Lippman's novel of the same name, "Lady in the Lake" stars Oscar winner Natalie Portman as a housewife-turned-journalist investigating a murder, and Emmy nominee Moses Ingram as an activist fighting for social justice in 1960s Baltimore.

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"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 spokesperson Chakia Fennoy told The Times on Sunday.

A Saturday report from the Baltimore Banner referred to the threat-makers as "drug dealers" and noted that producers declined to pay the $50,000. A representative for Endeavor Content did not immediately respond Sunday to The Times' request for comment.

In April, the Maryland Economic Development Assn. announced that "Lady in the Lake" had begun shooting in the state and would continue filming "throughout the Baltimore region" until October. According to Deadline, Portman is also an executive producer on the project, co-created by Alma Har'el and Dre Ryan.

"We are excited that Maryland will serve as the backdrop for the television adaptation of this New York Times bestseller," Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement earlier this year.

"This type of series generates a positive impact through job creation and revenue for the local businesses that provide goods and services to film and television productions. We look forward to partnering with Endeavor Content in the coming months, and hopefully, on many projects in the future."