Ridley Scott and Lynda Obst are currently developing a TV show that will chronicle the history of the Ebola virus up until the present. The duo deemed present circumstances very timely for the release of the series.
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We’re just going to go ahead and label this “grossly inappropriate” given the circumstances. Producer Lynda Obst (left) and director Ridley Scott (right) are teaming up to create a TV series about the deadly Ebola virus, which is presently dominating our media circuit and killing thousands of people. How very timely of them.
The limited show for Fox TV Studios will be based on Richard Preston’s 1994 non-fiction book The Hot Zone — tracing the origins and incidents of viral hemorrhagic fevers — and will include the present Ebola outbreak, with the informative aid of Preston himself. The series has been in the works for the past year but became even more poignant with the recent surge in cases (the deadliest outbreak of Ebola to date).
If you haven’t been following the news lately, the Ebola outbreak has claimed nearly 4,500 lives so far, with Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea being the hardest-hit countries. Recently the disease has begun to spread, with one confirmed case in Spain and three in the United States; one victim succumbed to the illness in Texas.
“I think it’s the speed with which it kills that makes the disease so frightening,” Obst told The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
While TV shows and movies always trace reality, attempting to underline the unifying or divisive factors of our lives, this is cutting a little close to the bone, no? The outbreak is not even close to being contained, with people dying every single day and risks of Ebola spreading farther being all too real. This is a human tragedy, not an opportunity to make a buck. Unless this is a volunteer-based project, may we suggest donating the money rallied for this show to Médecins Sans Frontières, which runs the majority of beds (about 700 out of 1,000) in West Africa treatment facilities and is struggling to maintain them?
Scott will potentially be directing the first episode of the series and will serve as the executive producer along with Obst, David Zucker and Jim Hart. The team is currently working on incorporating the current outbreak into the series before taking it out to the networks.
What do you think of the show’s premise? Appropriate, or not so much? Let us know.