While Christopher McQuarrie is gearing up for the herculean challenge of making two Mission: Impossible sequels back-to-back, he’s adding something else to his place: a TV series. Showtime has announced that the Oscar-winning Usual Suspects writer has come aboard the network’s drama series adaptation of The President Is Missing, based on the book of the same name by President Bill Clinton and James Patterson. At this point in time McQuarrie won’t be writing or directing, but he’ll be executive producing the series alongside Heather McQuarrie, Clinton, and Patterson, with Anthony Peckham (Invictus) also coming aboard as writer and executive producer.
The wildly intriguing premise for The President Is Missing is as follows:
In THE PRESIDENT IS MISSING, a powerless and politically aimless Vice President unexpectedly becomes President halfway into his administration’s first term, despite his every wish to the contrary. 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.
McQuarrie has alluded to having TV projects in the works in the past, so this isn’t a total surprise. It’s unclear if he considered writing or directing this or another series before ultimately deciding to re-up with Paramount for Mission: Impossible 7 and 8, which will take up the next four years of his life. He’ll spend this year writing the sequels and filming is due to commence at the end of this year in anticipation of 2021 and 2022 release dates.
The President Is Missing is currently in development and doesn’t yet have a cast or premiere date, but this news is certainly positive forward momentum.