GARY — "Black Panther" star Michael B. Jordan and actor and producer Seth Rogen have teamed up as executive producers for a series to be set in Gary.
The production is in development stages and Lionsgate, the major entertainment company involved alongside Amazon Studios, said it is too early to share specifics.
Lionsgate confirmed with The Times that the show will be called “Middle West” and will follow two FBI agents from Chicago who are tasked with investigating the disappearance of two officers in Gary. Adding to the stakes, the Gary officers themselves were searching for clues in a series of missing women cases before they met their demise.
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson welcomed the production, citing a longstanding history of stars emerging from the city.
“We believe that Gary is a great setting for the actual production,” Freeman-Wilson said. “We have a rich culture and talented actors. This is the hometown of Karl Malden, Avery Brooks and the world famous Jacksons, and we have added a tradition of using arts and culture to drive development.”
With crime being the over-arching theme of the series, Freeman-Wilson does not want the portrayal of Gary to be one-note. But she hopes Jordan, as an executive producer, will depict more than police tape and bullet casings.
“At the same time, we are always cautious about story lines in TV shows or movies that seem to promote a misperception that Gary is a crime-ridden community,” Freeman-Wilson said. “When you hear a name like Michael B. Jordan, you have to think that he is not buying into this stereotype. I hope to learn more about the show and would welcome the production of episodes here as an economic development tool.”
In addition to Lionsgate and Amazon, Rogen and Evan Goldberg's company Point Grey Pictures will be involved in production. Point Grey Pictures has produced streaming and cable hits such as “The Boys” on Amazon, “Preacher” on AMC and “Future Man” on Hulu, according to IMBD. Jordan is a producer of “Raising Dion,” a new superhero show on Netflix and was executive producer of “Creed II” and HBO's “Farenheit 451,” IMBD said.
More details will be released as the series' production advances.