The series will be directed by Honey Boy director Alma Har’el, who co-created and will co-write with Colony and The Man In The High Castle writer Dre Ryan. Lady In The Lake is produced by Jean-Marc Vallée’s Crazyrose and Bad Wolf America, the U.S. arm of the His Dark Materials producer. Endeavor Content is the studio. Har’el is writing the pilot episode.
The limited series takes place in 60s Baltimore, where an unsolved murder pushes housewife and mother, Maddie Schwartz, played by Portman, to reinvent her life as an investigative journalist and sets her on a collision course with Cleo Sherwood, played by Nyong’o, a hard-working woman juggling motherhood, many jobs and a passionate commitment to advancing Baltimore’s Black progressive agenda.
It marks the first lead television role for Black Swan and Thor star Portman as well as the first major small screen role for Black Panther star Nyong’o as well the first television project for Har’el (left), who won a DGA Award for her feature film Honey Boy.
The straight-to-series order is exec produced by Portman, Nyong’o, Har’el, Ryan, Christopher Leggett, who is Har’el’s producing partner through her new production company Zusa, Portman’s producing partner Sophie Mas, Crazyrose principals Jean-Marc Vallée and Nathan Ross, Bad Wolf America’s Julie Gardner and author Laura Lippman.
Vallée and Ross exec produced Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects and are working on Gorilla and the Bird at HBO and Players Table starring Sydney Sweeney and Halsey for HBO Max. Bad Wolf is also behind HBO’s The Night Of and Industry and Sky and AMC fantasy drama A Discovery of Witches.
Portman is repped by CAA and the Law Offices of George Sheanshang, Nyong’o is repped by CAA, Mainstay Entertainment and Del, Shaw, Moonves, et al., Har’el is repped by WME, Range and Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman, Ryan is repped by WME and Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman, Lippman is repped by Vicky Bijur Literary Agency, Darren Trattner of Jackoway, Tyerman, Wertheimer, and WME, Bad Wolf America is repped by WME and Crazyrose, Vallée and Ross are represented by David Weber at Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern.