Nigerian-British-American actor David Oyelowo is to star in Showtime drama pilot The President is Missing, based on the bestselling novel by former US president Bill Clinton and James Patterson.
The series tells the story of a powerless and politically aimless vice president, played by Oyelowo, who becomes US president unexpectedly and against his wishes. He has to deal with crisis both within and outside the White House amidst scandals, conspiracy and attacks by friends and enemies.
The pilot, which is set to begin production in 2020, is being written and executive produced by Anthony Peckham, alongside Christopher McQuarrie, Heather McQuarrie, Clinton, Patterson, Bill Robinson, Leopoldo Gout and Oyelowo.
Gary Levine, co-president of entertainment for Showtime, said: “David brings such enormous depth, sensitivity and power to every role he plays. 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.”
Oyelowo is known for his role as Martin Luther King Jr in the 2014 film Selma. He was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Emmy for the HBO movie Nightingale and his other recent credits include the BBC miniseries adaptation of Les Misérables and films like The Cloverfield Paradox, Queen of Katwe, Don’t Let Go and A Wrinkle in Time.
Showtime landed the rights to the book in 2017 nearly a year before the its June 2018 release.