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Bill Clinton and James Patterson, authors of "The President Is Missing." A Showtime pilot for a series based on the novel will be filmed in Maryland in 2020.
Bill Clinton and James Patterson, authors of "The President Is Missing." A Showtime pilot for a series based on the novel will be filmed in Maryland in 2020. (ebeto Matthews/The Associated Press)

The pilot episode of “The President Is Missing,” a Showtime series based on the novel co-authored by former President Bill Clinton and starring David Oyelowo, will be shot in Baltimore early next year.

“We are hopeful it will become another successful series for our state,” Governor Larry Hogan said in a news release Tuesday announcing the filming. Hogan was referring back to the Netflix series “House of Cards,” which had an economic impact on the state of more than $700 million, provided jobs for more than 2,000 state residents during each of the six seasons it filmed here and purchased or rented goods from 2,000 state businesses per season, according to figures provided by the Maryland Film Office.

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“'The President Is Missing’ could provide an incredible impact on Maryland’s economy if it becomes a Showtime series, including the potential for new jobs and additional revenue for local businesses throughout the region,” said state Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “We look forward to working with the network as they produce their pilot in Maryland next year.”

David Oyelowo will star in the Showtime series "The President Is Missing."
David Oyelowo will star in the Showtime series "The President Is Missing." (Richard Shotwell/Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Like “House of Cards," much of “The President Is Missing” will be set in Washington, D.C. Maryland, as Governor Hogan noted in the news release, has “a variety of locations that can easily double as our nation’s capital.”

But unlike “House of Cards,” much of which was shot on a soundstage in Harford County, production of "The President Is Missing” will be centered in Baltimore, said Debbie Donaldson Dorsey, head of the Baltimore Film Office. Almost all of the filming will be done in the city, she said.

“We got it all,” a happy Donaldson Dorsey said.

Officials have been working with Showtime for about nine months, trying to bring the production to the state, said Jack Gerbes, head of the Maryland Film Office. “They realized the quality of our film artisans here and the work they did on ‘House of Cards,’” Gerbes said.

“House of Cards,” which starred Kevin Spacey as soulless, conniving House Speaker and later President Frank Underwood and Robin Wright as his equally manipulative wife (and later president herself) Claire, ran on Netflix from 2013-2018. Spacey was fired from the series shortly before filming began on the final season, after several sexual assault and misconduct allegations were made against him. In July of this year, prosecutors in Massachusetts dropped a case accusing Spacey of groping a young man at a resort island bar in 2016.

'The President Is Missing," written by Clinton and novelist James Patterson and published in June 2018, tells the story of President Jonathan Lincoln Duncan, who begins the novel facing possible impeachment for allegedly negotiating with and trying to protect a known terrorist. The novel, which topped the New York Times bestseller list for several weeks in summer 2018, is replete with covert operations, code words, foreign intrigue, assassination attempts, an attempted cyberattack, even an undercover visit by the president to Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals.

Oyelowo won an NAACP Image Award for portraying Martin Luther King Jr. in the 2014 film “Selma,” directed by Ava DuVernay. The script for the pilot of “The President Is Missing” will be written by Anthony Peckham (2009′s “Invictus”), with Peckham, Christopher McQuarrie (an Oscar winner for the screenplay of “The Usual Suspects”), Heather McQuarrie and Jillian Share among the executive producers.

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