The president has indeed gone missing — from Showtime’s schedule, that is.
The pay cabler’s series adaptation of The President Is Missing, a 2018 novel by former POTUS Bill Clinton and mystery author James Patterson, is no longer moving forward.
As co-star Ann Dowd told our sister site Variety, the project was scrapped due to circumstances created by COVID-19, as well as current political events.
“[Production] stopped midway and then because of the pandemic, the relevance of it, things needed to be changed in the writing because of what happens to the president,” she shared. “It just wouldn’t have worked. It would have had to have been re-conceived.”
Showtime acquired the rights to The President Is Missing back in September 2017, several months before the book was published. The series would have starred David Oyelowo (Selma) as a powerless and politically aimless vice president who unexpectedly becomes president halfway into his administration’s first term when POTUS (Dowd) goes missing. “Attacked by both friends and enemies alike, with scandal and conspiracy swirling around him,” the logline reads, “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 cast also included Paul Adelstein (Prison Break), Janet McTeer (Ozark) and Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead).