Gay director Scott McGehee and his filmmaking partner, David Siegel (The Deep End, Suture), have been signed by 20th Century Fox to bring the long-in-development Crisis in the Hot Zone to the screen, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Based on a 1992 New Yorker article by Richard Preston, which spurred a major studio bidding war and Preston's follow-up 1994 book The Hot Zone, Crisis tells the story of a real-life outbreak of the Ebola virus in a Washington, D.C., animal test lab in 1989 and the subsequent efforts of a government force to contain it. A film version was almost made in 1994 starring Jodie Foster and Robert Redford under the direction of Ridley Scott, but it was scuttled when Warner Bros. got the similarly themed Outbreak off the ground first.
"We really responded to Eric [Jandresen]'s script," said McGehee. "He just did a fantastic job in capturing what was really scary in this particular story, and David and I thought we knew exactly what to do with this material." No start date is set, but the filmmakers are hoping to roll cameras this winter.