'Lady In The Lake': Natalie Portman And Lupita Nyong'o To Star In Apple TV+ Limited Crime Drama Series

Natalie Portman and Lupita Nyong'o are both diving into TV. Streaming television has proved to be a great arena for established actresses to get some meaty roles and show off their acting chops (see: Nicole Kidman for the past five years), and it seems like Portman and Nyong'o have both gotten the memo, signing on for the Apple TV+ limited series, Lady in the Lake, a crime drama based on the best-selling novel by Laura Lippman.

Apple has given the straight-to-series order for Lady in the Lake, a new limited series directed and co-written by Alma Har'el (Honey Boy) set to co-star Oscar winners Natalie Portman and Lupita Nyong'o.

The limited series takes place in 1960s Baltimore, "where an unsolved murder pushes housewife and mother, Maddie Schwartz (Portman) to reinvent her life as an investigative journalist and sets her on a collision course with Cleo Sherwood (Nyong'o), a hard-working woman juggling motherhood, many jobs and a passionate commitment to advancing Baltimore's Black progressive agenda."

Based on Laura Lippman's New York Times best-selling novel of the same name, Lady in the Lake is inspired by two real-life disappearances in '60s Baltimore — one white girl, one black young woman. Neither disappearance ended up being related in real life, but the different reactions to the two crimes inspired Lippman's book, tying them together through her protagonist Maddie Schwartz, a bored housewife who decides to become a crime reporter.

It seems like the kind of meaty role that Portman, famously picky about her parts and often using her clout to support women behind the camera, would excel at. And pitting her against a fellow Oscar winner like Nyong'o, well, you've got TV gold. While I wonder if it will play too closely to what the Reese Witherspoon, Kerry-Washington Hulu drama Little Fires Everywhere did in its exploration of race and class amid an overarching mystery, the premise and the talent are hard to resist.

Portman, Nyong'o, and Har'el will all be serving as executive producers on Lady in the Lake, which is co-created and co-written by Dre Ryan alongside Har'el. Har'el will pen the pilot. Ryan also serves as executive producer.

Lady in the Lake is produced by Crazyrose and Bad Wolf America, and is executive produced by Har'el alongside producing partner Christopher Leggett through her new production company, Zusa. Crazyrose principals Jean-Marc Vallée and Nathan Ross will also serve as executive producers, and Julie Gardner will executive produce for Bad Wolf America. Author Laura Lippman and Dre Ryan will also executive produce on the project, which is under the studio Endeavor Content.