A 10-part miniseries form the Oscar-winning writer of The Imitation Game will not move forward as planned.
Patient Zero, a post-apocalyptic drama where The Stand and I Am Legend had most likely gone before, was cancelled by both NBC and the United Kingdom’s Sky before a single actor could be cast. The two cross-pond media companies were co-funding the miniseries from Graham Moore, who won accolades for his biopic on Alan Turing that earned Benedict Cumberbatch an Oscar nomination himself.
No reason behind the sudden change of mind was shared by Radio Times, which was first to break the story. The Hollywood Reporter, however, suggested NBC’s schedule was too packed, not just at mid-season, but also for summer.
After launching three new shows in the fall (This Is Us, The Good Place and Timeless), NBC is also bracing for a busy mid-season slate that includes new dramas Taken, Chicago Justice, Emerald City, Midnight Texas, and The Blacklist: Redemption, as well as new comedies Powerless, Trial & Error, Marlon and Great News.
There also have been a lot of “kill the world with a virus” type stories over the years, like the aforementioned Stand from Stephen King. That includes a film that’s in the works starring former Doctor Who and now The Crown star Matt Smith called – and this isn’t a mistake – Patient Zero.
Mike Le, an executive producer of the Web series Roll Models, wrote that film, which already has finished production and is geared up for a Feb. 17 release. So even if NBC and Sky had moved forward with their project, they likely would have had to change the name.
NBC had skipped over the pilot stage for its version of Patient Zero and jumped instead to a 10-episode straight-to-series order. Moore was expected to work with Marc Forster, known for directing World War Z, the Peter Pan biopic Finding Neverland and the James Bond film Quantum of Solace.
Moore isn’t sitting at home bored, however. He wrote The Last Days of Night, a film reportedly starring Eddie Redmayne about the battle between Thomas Edison’s direct current plans, and George Westinghouse’s push for alternating current. It’s being produced by Black Bear Pictures, the same company behind The Imitation Game.
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