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Natalie Portman and Lupita Nyong’o Team for Apple’s ‘Lady in the Lake,’ Directed by Alma Har’el

The Apple TV+ limited series marks the first major TV project for both Oscar-winning actresses.

Lupita Natalie Portman Alma

Alma Har’el, Natalie Portman, and Lupita Nyong’o


Natalie Portman and Lupita Nyong’o will headline a limited series adaptation of Laura Lippman’s book “Lady in The Lake” for Apple TV+. To add to the excitement, the entire series will be directed by “Honey Boy” filmmaker Alma Har’el, who wrote the pilot and will co-write the rest of the series with Dre Ryan (“The Man in the High Castle”). “Lady in The Lake” is executive produced by Jean-Marc Vallée, whose “Big Little Lies” and “Sharp Objects” boosted the era of movie stars doing limited series to much acclaim. The series marks the first major TV project for both Oscar-winning actresses.

“Lady in the Lake” is a mystery set in 1960s Baltimore at the height of the civil rights movement. The story follows housewife-turned-reporter Maddie Schwartz (Portman) as she 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.

Nyong’o, Portman, Har’el, and Ryan will all serve as executive producers, as will Portman’s producing partner Sophie Mas and Har’el’s producing partner Christopher Leggett under their company Zusa. Addiitonal EPs include Vallée and Nathan Ross under Crazyrose, Bad Wolf America’s Julie Gardner, and author Laura Lippman.

Nyong’o was set to star in the adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling “Americanah,” written by her “Black Panther” castmate Danai Gurira, at HBO Max, but the project fell apart in October when Nyong’o exited due to a scheduling conflict. She last appeared on the big screen in Jordan Peele’s “Us” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”

Portman most recently appeared in “Lucy in the Sky.” She is currently filming Taika Waititi’s “Thor: Love and Thunder” in Australia, returning to the Marvel franchise as Jane.

Alma Har’el’s “Honey Boy” was released in 2019 to widespread acclaim. Written by Shia LaBeouf, who starred in the film as a variation of his father, the film explored his traumatic beginnings as a child actor. Following the recent allegations of abuse against LaBeouf made by his former girlfriend FKA Twigs, Har’el released a public statement in support of Twig and decrying the alleged actions of her former collaborator.

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