A lot of people will be thinking too soon when they hear the news of an Ebola-based mini-series. It is actually just a matter of timing. The new TV series has been in development for over a year, and was actually optioned over 20 years ago.
The series will be based on the 1984 best-selling non-fiction book, The Hot Zone. Producer Lynda Obst is behind the project for Fox TV Studios. Ridley Scott is rumored to be tied to the series. If you’ve ever seen a Ridley Scott, take what the major news networks have been doing the Ebola story and multiply it by about a million.
Initially the project was supposed to be a film starring Jodie Foster, but that fell apart. Now, The Hot Zone will be as a mini-series, and Obst is happy that they can tell a deeper story. Granted, if Ebola goes full on epidemic, we may not have a chance to DVR it.
“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.”
The current Ebola outbreak began as far back as last December and has killed more than 4,000 people. Two nurses that were treating Thomas Eric Duncan have contracted the virus and are now being treated at Emory and the National Institutes of Health’s Isolation unit.
The U.S. federal response has been sharply criticized as the CDC goes back and forth on exactly what guidelines they have sent out and when. Today’s appointment of an Ebola Czar is likely to do very little to quell the growing fear in the United States of the virus.
As for the mini-series, nothing is known on a possible release date or casting. We are probably looking at sometime in 2015 at the earliest for it to appear on a network, if it ever does.