David Oyelowo for The President is Missing

10 Oct 2019 / 10:19 H.

SHOWTIME network is cueing up The President is Missing, which, according to an initial description, makes several changes to the James Patterson and Bill Clinton novel on which it’s based.

First published in June 2018, The President is Missing by best-selling thriller author James Patterson and ex-President of the United States Bill Clinton is being turned into a TV series for Showtime, with David Oyelowo in the lead role.

However, it would appear that instead of following a courageous President through the rigors of an impending impeachment inquiry and immediate nation-crippling cyberattack and assassination mission –all amid a potent alliance between Russia and a Middle-Eastern terrorist, an attack on Ukranian personnel, and a medically-imparing course of treatment –The President is Missing adaptation will follow the Vice President instead.

Reminiscent of ABC series Designated Survivor, in which a relatively low level cabinet member becomes President when everyone else in government is killed in a terrorist attack, Showtime’s episodic version of The President is Missing has a “powerless and politically aimless” Vice President promoted two years into the administration’s first term -- quite a departure from the original material, it would appear.

The character is opposed by friends and enemies, hemmed in by scandal and conspiracy, and faced with a choice between following his political party’s policy or finally listening to his conscience.

Oyelowo, whose recent resumé is broad enough to encompass animated show Star Wars Rebels and classic French story Les Misérables by way of sci-fi Interstellar and Martin Luther King dramatization Selma, is the first named cast member (as well as one of the producers) and would play the VP.

The Patterson and Clinton book topped the New York Times bestseller list for two three-week periods during mid-2018. Showtime announced a pre-publication deal in September 2017. - AFP

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