The former executive producers of 'ER,' John Wells and Jack Orman, are bringing a new high-profile medical drama to NBC--and this one is going to be very recognizable. Hot on the heels of the news that the feature film 'Twelve Monkeys' is being adapted for television, Wells and Orman are developing a series based on 'Outbreak,' the smash hit 1995 blockbuster film starring Dustin Hoffman and Morgan Freeman. The drama is slated to be an hour-long ongoing series which would chronicle the tribulations surrounding an attempt to contain a deadly virus which threatens to wipe out all human life.
Co-written by Wells and Orman, 'Outbreak' is being described as a medical thriller, but if the 1995 feature is any indicator it will also involve the military as much as a medical team. Warner Bros. TV and studio-based John Wells Prods are producing, with Wells, Orman and JWP’s Andrew Stearn executive producing. Gail Katz, who was a producer of the Hoffman feature, will also reportedly be involved producing the series as well, ensuring some continuity. In 1995, 'Outbreak' spent three weekends atop the boxoffice en route to grossing $190 million on a $50 million budget--and it also popularized the white-headed capuchin monkey as an ill-advised house pet.
Wells also co-wrote 'Shameless,' which is currently airing on Showtime. The original screenplay for 'Outbreak' in 1995 was written by Laurence Dworet, MD and Robert Roy Pool; as one of the screenwriters was a medical doctor, the procedural aspect of the original film contained a certain amount of gravitas. Given Wells and Orman's history with 'ER,' it's safe to assume that these writer-producers will do their homework before tackling this issue on a global scale.
Are you a fan of the movie? Would you like to see it as a series?