Producer Lynda Obst and director-producer Ridley Scott plan to bring the Ebola pandemic to life in a limited FOX television series adapted from Richard Preston’s 1994 best-seller entitled The Hot Zone.
The duo have reportedly been collaborating on the project for more than a year, but the timeliness of the series becomes a priority as the virus continues to claim thousand of lives and dominate headlines.
“I think it’s the speed with which it kills that makes the disease so frightening,” Obst explained. “People hoped it would stay in some remote part of the world. But that’s a fantasy in the modern world. The modern world makes us one big connected family.”
Preston was reportedly working on an article for New York Magazine about the history of Ebola, when the virus was first isolated in the United States in 1989. The author has apparently been working closely with the Hollywood crew to offer his insights.
Scott and Obst will act as executive producers, along with Jim Hart, original screenwriter for Crisis in the Hot Zone, and David Zucker. The dynamic team plans to pitch the project to various networks once the script is updated with the most pertinent details of Ebola.
“A limited series is a great way to do this, because you don’t have to limit it to a three-act structure like you do with a film,” Obst explained.
Scott Z. Burns, the screenwriter for Contagion, recently blamed the media for creating hysteria surrounding the Ebola crisis. The goal of his 2011 film was to show that fear and media coverage accelerate the speed at which infectious diseases spread.
“I certainly don’t want to scare people, because that seems what most of the media is doing a great job of doing,” he stated.