Natalie Portman has undertaken dozens of projects over the course of her 27-year career. And yet, somehow, it wasn’t until her latest that any involved TV. On Wednesday, Apple TV+ announced that Portman will soon star in a limited series adaptation of Laura Lippman’s 2019 novel Lady in the Lake. Starring opposite is another Academy Award-winning TV newcomer: Lupita Nyong’o, whose previous foray into the medium fell through when the HBO series Americanah was scrapped.
Set in 1960s Baltimore, Lady in the Lake follows Maddie (Portman), a housewife who’s just pivoted to investigative journalism. Her beat, unsolved murders, and disappearances, leads her to Cleo Sherwood (Nyong’o), “a hardworking woman juggling motherhood, many jobs,” and her ardent commitment to advancing Baltimore’s Black progressive agenda. It’s unclear whether or not the series will take the novel’s lead in making Sherwood a ghost. (Its title references her body’s discovery.)
Director Alma Har’el, who broke out with Honey Boy in 2019, is also new to the medium. But the trio, all of whom are executive producers, will have an expert on-hand: Big Little Lies’s Jean-Marc Valée, via his production company Crazyrose. They’re all just some of the A-list talent Apple TV+ has attracted as of late. Its ever-growing slate of content includes The Shrink Next Door, starring Kathryn Hahn and Will Ferrell, and Roar, starring Nicole Kidman and Cynthia Erivo.