'Lady in the Lake' With Natalie Portman Temporarily Halted Baltimore Production, Threat Reports Disputed (UPDATE)

Police are now saying that an investigation into the alleged threats revealed that initial statements regarding the situation were inaccurate.

Natalie Portman discusses "Lucy in the Sky" with the Build Series at Build Studio.

Natalie Portman discusses "Lucy in the Sky" with the Build Series at Build Studio.

Natalie Portman discusses "Lucy in the Sky" with the Build Series at Build Studio.

UPDATED 8/31, 1:55 p.m. ET: Baltimore police are now saying that an investigation into previously alleged threats centered on Lady in the Lake has revealed that initial statements regarding the situation were inaccurate.

Per the Baltimore Banner, police—who initially claimed threats and a demand for money, as well as a brandished gun, had been involved—have now made an arrest but not in connection with threats of violence. Instead, a street vendor is said to have “requested compensation” from the production team due to not being able to continue his business while the shoot was in progress.

Meanwhile, the initial claim of a gun is reported to have been a “secondhand” account, with the bulk of it having seemingly been recanted when a location manager was asked about it. The latest report also says it was a security supervisor on the set who initially alleged the money-related aspect of the claimed threats, although that individual allegedly later said they didn’t know who made such threats.

As for the street vendor, he’s since been hit with drug-related charges.

See original story below.

Lady in the Lake resumed filming at a new location in Baltimore on Monday, NBC News writes, after the production was shut down three days earlier following a threat of violence from two unknown individuals. The Apple TV+ limited series stars Natalie Portman as well as Moses Ingram coming off her appearance in the Disney+ Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi.

As first reported by the Baltimore Banner, a member of the production crew was confronted by a group of locals who said they would “allow” filming to continue as long as they were paid $50,000. When the crew member refused to meet their demand, they vowed to “come back later this evening [and] shoot someone” if the work was still in progress. 

“The leaders of the production decided to err on the side of caution and reschedule the shoot after they found another location,” Baltimore Police Department spokesperson James Moses said. 

The Hollywood Reporter obtained a statement from Endeavor Content, the studio behind Lady in the Lake, confirming the events as previously reported, adding that one of the men “brandished a gun directed at our driver” before fleeing the scene. “Production will resume with increased security measures going forward,” the statement concluded. “It has been a privilege filming Lady in the Lake in Baltimore, working with its vibrant community across many areas.”

According to a press release from the Maryland Department of Commerce, production began in April and filming was scheduled to take place in various parts of Baltimore through October.  

Adapted from Laura Lippman’s 2019 novel of the same name, Lady in the Lake tells the story of Maddie Schwartz (Portman), a housewife and mother who pushes herself to become an investigative journalist in light of an unsolved murder. Schwartz winds up crossing paths with Cleo Sherwood (Ingram) as she deals with a number of obligations and obstacles in her pursuit of the Black progressive agenda in Baltimore during the 1960s. 

The threat came a month after Johnny Pizzaro, a parking production assistant for Law & Order: Organized Crime, was fatally shot in the early morning hours while sitting in his car at a filming location in Brooklyn. 

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