David Oyelowo has signed on to star in an adaptation of The President Is Missing, based on the bestselling novel by Bill Clinton and James Patterson. Showtime is developing the series. Christopher McQuarrie will executive produce the series, while Invictus scribe Anthony Peckham is writing the adaptation.
The novel revolves around a powerless and politically aimless Vice President who unexpectedly becomes Commander In Chief 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, with scandal and conspiracy enveloping him, he is confronted with a terrible choice: either keep his head down, toe the party line and survive, or act on his stubborn, late-developing conscience and take a stand.
The book sold more than 2.3 million copies in North America alone. That probably wasn’t much of a surprise considering Patterson consistently sells well, and teaming up with a former President was always going to be intriguing to people, but those are still impressive numbers.
“David brings such enormous depth, sensitivity and power to every role he plays”, said Showtime president Gary Levine in a statement. “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”.
He’s right, Oyelowo is a consummate pro and can always be relied upon for engaging performances. He’s best known for portraying Martin Luther King Jr. in Ava DuVernay‘s Selma, but has also earned Golden Globe nominations for his work on HBO’s Nightingale and recently appeared in the BBC’s new miniseries version of Les Misérables.
Expect the Showtime series to be just as popular as the bestselling novel. The pilot is scheduled to begin shooting next year.