David Oyelowo will star in and executive produce Showtime’s adaptation of the novel “The President Is Missing” by Bill Clinton and James Patterson, the network announced on Tuesday.
In the project, which has been ordered to pilot, Oyelowo will play a powerless and politically aimless vice president who unexpectedly becomes president halfway into his administration’s first term, despite his every wish to the contrary.
Showtime’s description of the character reads: “He walks right into a secret, world-threatening crisis, both inside and outside the White House. Attacked by both friends and enemies alike, with scandal and conspiracy swirling around him, 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.”
“David brings such enormous depth, sensitivity and power to every role he plays,” Showtime’s president of entertainment Gary Levine said 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.”
“Invictus” writer Anthony Peckham will write and executive produce the project alongside Oyelowo and Christopher and Heather McQuarrie. Jillian Share, head of TV for the duo’s Invisible Ink Productions will also executive produce, as will Clinton, Patterson, Bill Robinson and Leopoldo Gout.
“The President Is Missing,” Clinton’s first novel, was published last summer by Alfred A. Knopf and Little, Brown and Company, and has sold more than 2.3 million copies in North America. Showtime first acquired the rights to adapt the thriller in 2017, months prior to its publication.