Ebola Coming to Your TV, Thanks to Ridley Scott

He's planning limited series based on 'The Hot Zone'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2014 10:58 AM CDT
Ebola Coming to Your TV, Thanks to Ridley Scott
In this Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009 photo, British director and producer Ridley Scott is seen during the filming of Ken Follett's "The Pillars of the Earth" in Astra Studios, near Budapest, Hungary.   (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)

Just what an already paranoid public needs: Ridley Scott is working on a TV series about Ebola. The limited series, produced by Fox TV Studios, will be based on Richard Preston's 1994 best-seller The Hot Zone. The nonfiction book gives an account of the disease's history and discusses a 1989 incident in Virginia in which primates at a quarantine facility got infected with a mutated version of the virus. (Stephen King once said the first chapter of the book is "one of the most horrifying things I’ve read in my whole life," Uproxx notes.) Scott and producer Lynda Obst optioned the property 20 years ago and originally thought they might make a film. Of course, the project just recently became "incredibly timely," the Hollywood Reporter notes.

They've actually been working on it for a year now, with Preston helping them. He's also working on a New Yorker article, out next week, about the current outbreak; Scott and Obst may option it, too. Scott may direct the first episode, and possibly more, and will also serve as an executive producer. Obst explains what makes the subject matter so compelling: "I think it's the speed with which it kills. People hoped it would stay in some remote part of the world. But that's a fantasy in the modern world." No network is yet attached, and it's not clear when the series might debut. (More Ridley Scott stories.)

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