Matt Smith hung up his hat (or, rather, fez) as The Doctor during the 2013 Doctor Who Christmas special, but the 32-year old actor has since been taking steps to lead a fruitful acting career beyond his time playing in the Who-verse. He’s now boarded the sci-fi thriller Patient Zero, which had already made its way onto our radar thanks to its premise and the casting of Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones, Mockingjay – Part 1).
Patient Zero is based on an original script by Mike Le and is being directed by Stefan Ruzowitsky, who also helmed the 2007 Foreign Language Oscar-winning feature, The Counterfeiters. The story revolves around a global pandemic of a rabies super-virus that gives rise to a zombie-esque new species; in order to find a cure and save his infected wife (Dormer?), one of the human survivors (Smith) undertakes a hunt to find the “Patient Zero” responsible for the outbreak.
Deadline is reporting that Smith is set for Patient Zero, but doesn’t offer a timeline for when production on the project might begin. Smith costars in next year’s Terminator: Genisys and rumor has it his character in the film (an ally of John Connor) will become a more important player in the Terminator sequels scheduled for 2017 and 2018. Filming on Patient Zero could therefore begin sometime next year, before Smith (possibly) sets back to work on Terminator, and Dormer – again, possibly – gets busy with the sixth season of Game of Thrones.
Smith is currently working on the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies movie; and, at some point in the future, we should get to see him in Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut, Lost River. The actor’s time on Doctor Who was generally well-received (criticisms of the writing Smith had to work form, aside), but that doesn’t guarantee that Smith will manage to make a name for himself outside his run as the famous Time Lord.
Patient Zero may be only a pseudo-zombie movie, but its narrative appears to come similar territory as that covered in such recent zombie flicks as World War Z and the post-apocalyptic thrillers like I Am Legend. The cast assembled is intriguing, though, as is the choice of director; so fingers crossed, Patient Zero will prove to be more than a derivative bit of “race to save the world” entertainment.
We’ll continue to keep you up to speed on Patient Zero news in the future.