Showtime has opted not to go ahead with its thriller The President Is Missing, based on the novel by James Patterson and former President Bill Clinton. The show is the latest project to be scuttled due to concerns over COVID-19.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic and uncertainty about when circumstances will change led to Showtime‘s decision.
Showtime snagged rights to the novel in September 2017, nine months before the book was published, by handing out a straight to series order. David Oyelowo (Selma) was set to star as a powerless, aimless vice president who suddenly becomes president and walks into a secret, world-threatening crisis.
The cast also includes Ann Dowd, Janet McTeer, Michael Rooker, Medina Senghore, Paul Adelstein and Gina Gallego.
Anthony Peckham (Invictus) adapted The President Is Missing, which has sold more than 2 million copies in North America. He executive produces with Christopher McQuarrie and Heather McQuarrie via their Invisible Ink Productions, Clinton, Patterson, Bill Robinson, Leopoldo Gout and Oyelowo. Jillian Share of Invisible Ink is a co-EP.
The project is among a number of shows that have had their futures altered by the pandemic — and the second at Showtime, which recently reversed a renewal for the Kirsten Dunst-led On Becoming a God in Central Florida, citing scheduling challenges created by the pandemic. Netflix has also cited COVID-19 in taking back renewals for GLOW, I Am Not Okay With This and The Society, as did TruTV in canceling its comedy I’m Sorry.