UPDATED with Endeavor Content’s statement: An Apple TV+ series filming in Baltimore stopped production Friday after several people threatened the producers and tried to extort money from them, Baltimore police said.
A spokesperson for the Baltimore Police Department said the crew was filming around 4 PM in the downtown area when the producers were approached by several people. The group claimed if they didn’t stop filming they would come back and shoot someone, police said.
However, they said no violence would occur if they were paid an unspecified amount. Producers decided to halt filming and seek a new location. Local news outlet The Baltimore Banner reported that drug dealers attempted to extort $50,000 from the production, which producers declined to pay.
“Friday afternoon, on the Baltimore set of our production Lady in the Lake, prior to the arrival of the cast and crew, per their call time, a driver on our production crew was confronted by two men, one of whom brandished a gun directed at our driver, and then they fled the location. We are working with the Baltimore Police Department as the investigation is ongoing,” the studio behind the series, Endeavor Content, said in a statement late Sunday. “The safety and security of our crew, cast and all who work across our productions is our highest priority, and we are thankful no one was injured. Production will resume with increased security measures going forward.”
“It has been a privilege filming ‘Lady in the Lake’ in Baltimore, working with its vibrant community across many areas,” the statement continued. “Our thanks and appreciation to the City of Baltimore, Mayor Brandon M. Scott, the Baltimore Film Office, Maryland Film Office and the Baltimore Police Department for their incredible support as we continue production in the great City of Baltimore and surrounding communities.”
The Apple+ series stars Natalie Portman and has been filming in Baltimore for the past several months.
The series is based on a book by former Baltimore Sun reporter and author Laura Lippman, and also stars Baltimore native Moses Ingram, who recently appeared in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series.
Lady in the Lake takes place in 1960s Baltimore, where an unsolved murder pushes a housewife and mother to reinvent herself as an investigative journalist. That sets her on a collision course with a hard-working woman juggling motherhood, many jobs, and a passionate commitment to advancing Baltimore’s Black progressive agenda,” according to a production description.