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TV version of Ebola tale in the works

Updated: 2014-10-23 07:31
By Eric Kelsey in Los Angeles (China Daily)

Fox's television studio has been developing an adaptation of the best-selling 1994 Ebola chronicle The Hot Zone for more than a year, the Twenty-First Century Fox Inc-owned company said last week.

"It's a strange and upsetting coincidence that we all happen to be experiencing this current scare, and we're of course extremely sensitive about it," says executive producer Lynda Obst, who is developing the project with Fox TV Studios and Alien director Ridley Scott's Scott Free Productions.

If the adaptation of Richard Preston's nonfiction thriller about viral hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola makes it into production, it will likely be as a limited-run series, Fox TV Studios said. The book describes the discovery of a virus related to Ebola in a primate quarantine facility in Reston, Virginia, in 1989.

"While we are far from a finished product that, regardless, would never air during this current news cycle, I do think Preston's take is illuminating, particularly with some distance," Obst says in a statement.

The current Ebola outbreak has killed more than 4,500 people since March, mostly in the three impoverished West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization.

Fears that the outbreak would spread outside of that region have grown since a nurse in Spain became infected, a Liberian man died on Oct 8 in Dallas, Texas, and two of the nurses who treated him were also diagnosed with the illness.

A series developed by Fox's TV studio also does not guarantee that it would be broadcast on one of its parent company's networks in the United States; it could be sold to another network. Preston's book has become one of the best-selling books on online retailer Amazon two decades after its initial release.



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