Showtime has announced that Emmy and Golden Globe nominee David Oyelowo (Selma) will play the title role in the drama series The President Is Missing. The network has ordered a pilot, which is currently in pre-production and scheduled to shoot in 2020. Academy Award winner Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects), Anthony Peckham (Invictus), Heather McQuarrie and Oyelowo will executive produce the series. Peckham is writing the adaptation. The announcement was made today by Gary Levine and Jana Winograde, Presidents of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc.
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.
The series is based on the bestselling novel by President Bill Clinton and James Patterson, which was the No. 1 novel of 2018 and has sold over 2.3 million copies in North America alone.
“David brings such enormous depth, sensitivity and power to every role he plays,” said Levine. “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 Golden Globe and Film Independent Spirit Award nominations for his portrayal of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma, and a year later also earned Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for Nightingale. On the big screen, Oyelowo’s roles include A Wrinkle in Time, A United Kingdom, Queen of Katwe, A Most Violent Year, Interstellar, The Butler, Jack Reacher, Lincoln, Middle of Nowhere, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Paperboy and Don’t Let Go. On television, Oyelowo has appeared in Les Misérables, Complicit, Small Island, Blood and Oil and Spooks/MI5, among others. In 2001, Oyelowo took on a different kind of chief executive performance when he became the first black actor to play an English monarch for the Royal Shakespeare Company, in the role of Henry VI.
The President Is Missing is executive produced by Christopher McQuarrie and Heather McQuarrie and co-executive produced by Jillian Share for Invisible Ink Productions. Anthony Peckham, Bill Clinton, James Patterson, Bill Robinson, Leopoldo Gout and David Oyelowo will also executive produce.