Ridley Scott will is going to mobilise Scott Free productions, and potentially put himself in the directors chair, to bring Lawrence Wright’s novel The End Of October to life.  It is yet to be decided if this will be a feature movie or a limited series.

Pulitzer Prize wining author Wright originally got the idea for the book from Scott himself over six years ago.

In the book the virus is Kongoli Influenza. It is far more deadly than the current Coronavirus and spreads very fast out of Asia.  Millions die globally and the world economy grinds completely to a halt with the breakdown of society a very real threat as unemployment is the reality facing billions.

Various governments initially are slow to mobilise effectively and in one notable scene the President is appealing for calm in a live broadcast when the symptoms take hold of him with horrifying results.

As civilisation breaks down and crime rages throughout cities and towns and people fight to survive this further hampers efforts to find a vaccine, fast, before a second spike arrives from which humanity will potentially not return.

The story is told from the point of view of an American specialist embedded in the WHO tracking the disease from Indonesia around the world.  The issue and response is complicated by the medium the virus is spread by making containment practically impossible.

Scott previously tried to do a pandemic movie when he won the rights to Richard Preston’s Ebola novel Crisis In The Hot Zone.  However in 1994 it was shelved when the more action orientated and cinematic Outbreak beat it to the screen.

Hot Zone eventually made it to the screen last year but was very different to the book and was a History Channel docu-drama.

The Deadline story on this mentions a large donation to frontline medical workers fighting Coronavirus today as part of the deal.

Scott Free has has Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile also in the pipeline.

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