Ridley Scott Options Pandemic Novel For Potential Film Or Series

Ridley Scott

by James White |
Updated on

Now might not seem like the time for a film about a pandemic, though the popularity of Contagion and Outbreak on streaming sites suggests that people do want to watch relevant movies, and Ridley Scott clearly thinks he can do something with the subject. His Scott Free company has optioned Lawrence Wright's book The End Of October for a potential movie or TV series.

Of course, Scott adding something to his already heavy To Do list rarely equals a final project, but if it does become a film, it would be one he'd look to direct. On TV, it has a better chance of hitting screens, but he usually just produces the small screen output. Of course, as Deadline notes, this is a tougher time to contemplate a pandemic story, especially with people dying from Covid-19 around the world. And any deal will reportedly include a hefty donation to help medical and other frontline workers.

In Wright's tome (which just hit shelves), the fictional virus – Kongoli Influenza – is far more deadly than coronavirus. But it originated from afar, with the first cases in Asia, and the suspicion is it could have come from a lab in China or Russia. It spreads like wildfire and quickly kills millions around the world, shutting down economies, schools, airports and creating massive unemployment. The fatalities include Supreme Court justices, Taylor Swift and Brad Pitt.

And Scott has a history with the project, having read The Road and pondered to Wright whether that sort of societal breakdown could happen. We'll wait and see whether a studio, channel or streaming service snaps this one up. Scott, meanwhile, is waiting to finish his latest film, period drama The Last Duel.

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