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Lupita Nyong'o Exits Lady in the Lake, Apple's Limited Series

MovieWeb logo MovieWeb 5/21/2022 Patricia Abaroa
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Lupita Nyong’o has exited the Apple TV+ series Lady in the Lake, Variety reports. Nyong'o was cast as Cleo Sherwood, the character referenced in the title, starring opposite co-lead Natalie Portman. It is unknown what prompted the actress' departure. This marks the second time in two years that the Oscar-winning actress has exited a series. Back in 2020, she cited scheduling conflicts due to the pandemic when exiting the HBO Max adaptation of the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie novel Americanah.

Lady in the Lake is an adaptation of the 2019 novel of the same name by Laura Lippman. Series creator Alma Har’el serves as a director and executive producer under her production company, Zusa. Other series writers are Nambi Kelly, Briana Belser, Sheila Wilson and Boaz Yakin. Har’el’s producing partner, Christopher Legget, and Portman and her producing partner, Sophie Mas, also executive produce alongside Crazyrose principals Nathan Ross and the late Jean-Marc Vallée, Amy J. Kaufman, Bad Wolf America's Julie Gardner, and novel scribe Lippman. Lady in the Lake stars Portman, Y’Lan Noel (Insecure), Mikey Madison (Better Things), and Brett Gelman (Go On).

Nyong'o took home an Oscar in 2013 for her performance as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave. Since then, the actress has appeared in films including the Star Wars trilogy, as Adelaide Wilson in Jordan Peele's Us, as Miss Caroline in horror-comedy Little Monsters, and as Nakia in Marvel's Black Panther. She will return as Nakia for the upcoming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Related: Idris Elba Cleared for Takeoff in Apple TV+ Thriller Hijack

What We Know About the Lady in The Lake Storyline

The limited series, an Endeavor Content production, was announced in March 2021. It is currently filming in Baltimore, Maryland, where the story takes place. Lady in the Lake follows housewife and mother Maddie Schwartz (Portman) as she reinvents her life by becoming an investigative journalist in the 1960s. She is triggered to do so after the mysterious and unsolved death of Cleo Sherwood, a hard-working woman, mother and passionate advocate of Baltimore's Black progressive agenda.

Lippman's book, a New York Times bestseller, drew inspiration from two Baltimore disappearances in the 1960s and touches on important topics like sexism, racism and homophobia. The author, who also pens a Baltimore-based detective series, spoke to NPR about Lady in the Lake in 2019 and said the following:

"[The victim] is the first person we hear from, and she is the last person we hear from, and she has what I consider to be the most important line in the entire book, when, from across a void as she presents herself as a ghost, she says to the woman who is so determined to know her story: You were interested in my death, not my life. It's not the same thing."

An expected release date for the series has not been announced.

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