Source: Hot Air
The predictable happened last Friday afternoon when production had to be shut down for Natalie Portman’s “Lady in the Lake”. Allegedly, some Baltimore locals threatened to shoot someone on the set of the limited series. That claim was disputed as the Baltimore Police Department released the news.
According to a statement from the Baltimore Police Department that has since been disputed, “the locals” warned producers of the forthcoming series “Lady in the Lake” that they would “come back later this evening [and] shoot someone” if they didn’t stop filming in the 200 block of Park Avenue. The Baltimore residents then told producers that they would “allow the production to continue” if the producers paid them $50,000, police said Sunday afternoon.
A report from a local news outlet referred to the extortionists as drug dealers and said that the producers refused to accommodate them. The cast and crew were told to clear out or someone would be shot. The Baltimore Police Department spokesperson James Moses said, “The leaders of the production decided to err on the side of caution and reschedule the shoot after they found another location.”
A statement was given to the L.A. Times by Endeavor Content.
In a statement provided Sunday evening to The Times, however, Endeavor Content clarified that two men confronted and brandished a gun at a driver on the “Lady in the Lake” production crew Friday before fleeing the scene. The incident occurred before the rest of the cast and crew arrived on set, a representative for the production company said.
The Times was later informed that no producers were present during the altercation, contrary to the police report.
The Baltimore Police Department did not immediately respond Monday to The Times’ request for comment, but WBAL-TV 11 Baltimore reporter David Collins tweeted that police are “investigating possible discrepancies in the extortion complaint made Friday on the set of the Apple plus series Lady in the Lake.”
“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,” the Endeavor Content rep said, noting that law enforcement is still investigating the event.
“It has been a privilege filming ‘Lady in the Lake’ in Baltimore, working with its vibrant community across many areas. 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.”
So, fortunately no one was hurt or shot and there are some conflicting statements going around. Today it is being reported that an arrest has been made. The suspect is a street vendor who was angry that the miniseries production was causing him to lose business. He wanted compensation for lost sales.
The Baltimore Police Department confirms to EW that Keith L. Brown, a local street vendor of Pikesville, Md., “was upset that he had not been compensated by the production for lost business, since he could not operate his clothing business while the crew was filming at that location.”
Brown informed detectives that he had spoken with a crew member and a security manager for the miniseries and was awaiting paperwork to receive compensation. Brown was arrested on Monday on a narcotics charge.
It’s unclear if the man is a drug dealer but he was arrested on a narcotics charge. Detectives are interviewing additional individuals. The investigation is open and on-going. As a precaution, production is paused.
Natalie Portman and Obi-Wan Kenobi actress Moses Ingram star in “Lady in the Lake”. It is based on author Laura Lippman’s New York Times best-seller of the same name. It is a story set in the 1960s in Baltimore. Ironically, Portman’s character becomes inspired by an unsolved murder to reinvent her life from housewife into to investigative journalist, given the record number of murders recorded in Baltimore this year to date.
The City of Baltimore and Governor Hogan (a Republican) were happy when the announcement came of the miniseries filming in the city.
In April, the Maryland Economic Development Assn. announced that “Lady in the Lake” had begun shooting in the state and would continue filming “throughout the Baltimore region” until October. According to Deadline, Portman is also an executive producer on the project, co-created by Alma Har’el and Dre Ryan.
“We are excited that Maryland will serve as the backdrop for the television adaptation of this New York Times bestseller,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement earlier this year.
“This type of series generates a positive impact through job creation and revenue for the local businesses that provide goods and services to film and television productions. We look forward to partnering with Endeavor Content in the coming months, and hopefully, on many projects in the future.”
Maybe it will help Baltimore’s damaged reputation as a city. However, with Democrats in charge, don’t hold your breath for much change to happen.