By Yetunde Adeyeri
David Oyelowo has been tapped for the lead role in “The President Is Missing” at Showtime, with the project receiving a pilot order at the premium cabler.
The project is based on the book of the same name by Bill Clinton and James Patterson, which was released last year. In “The President Is Missing,” a powerless and politically aimless Vice President (Oyelowo) unexpectedly becomes President halfway into his administration’s first term, despite his every wish to the contrary. He walks right into a secret, world-threatening crisis, both inside and outside the White House. Attacked by both friends and enemies alike, with scandal and conspiracy swirling around him, he is confronted with a terrible choice: keep his head down, toe the party line and survive, or act on his stubborn, late-developing conscience and take a stand.
“David brings such enormous depth, sensitivity, and power to every role he plays,” said Gary Levine, co-president of entertainment for Showtime. “Having him as our lead ensures that our series will have the exhilarating suspense of a political thriller along with the juicy complexity of a character drama.”
Oyelowo received a Golden Globe nomination for his starring role in Ava DuVernay’s “Selma,” in which he portrayed Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was later nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Emmy for the HBO movie “Nightingale.” His other recent credits include the BBC miniseries adaptation of “Les Misérables” and films like “The Cloverfield Paradox,” “Queen of Katwe,” “Don’t Let Go,” and “A Wrinkle in Time.”
He is repped by CAA in the U.S., Hamilton Hodell in the U.K., and Schreck Rose.
The deal for “The President Is Missing” was signed in 2017 prior to the novel’s publication. The pilot is scheduled to begin production in 2020. Anthony Peckham is writing the script and executive producing. Oyelowo, Clinton, Patterson, Bill Robinson, Leopoldo Gout, Christopher McQuarrie, and Heather McQuarrie will also executive produce, with Jillian Share co-executive producing.