Even as the Ebola virus outbreak causes global health scare, Lynda Obst and Ridley Scott have been quietly developing a limited TV series about the deadly pathogen. The series, based on Richard Preston's 1994 nonfiction best-seller The Hot Zone, will be made for Fox TV Studios, Ace Showbiz reported.
The duo obtained the rights to the book over two decades ago and originally planned to adapt it into a movie, with Robert Redford and Jodie Foster set to star and Scott as director.
The big-screen project, however, never came to fruition. Jim Hart, who wrote the feature screenplay, will serve as an executive producer for the TV adaptation alongside Scott, Obst and David Zucker. "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 said of the project.
The book covers the Ebola crisis of the 1970s and 1990s, but the series will also highlight the most recent outbreak that started months ago in West Africa and has killed more than 4,500 people, including one in the United States. "I think it's the speed with which it kills that makes the disease so frightening. 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," Obst added.