A year after being pulled from theatrical release, Sony Screen Gems' viral infection thriller Patient Zero is headed for home video. First announced in 2014, Patient Zero went before cameras in 2015 and was originally set to hit theaters in January, 2017. But Sony would ultimately pull the Stefan Ruzowitzky-directed film from the schedule, putting its future in limbo.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world after a devastating epidemic has transformed much of the population into violent killers, Patient Zero concerns a survivor named Morgan who has learned to speak the strange new language of the murderous "Infecteds." Armed with this ability, Morgan (Matt Smith) leads his few fellow survivors on a search for the titular patient zero in hopes of finding a cure for the ravenous disease. The movie co-stars Natalie Dormer of Game of Thrones fame, together with Stanley Tucci, Agyness Deyn and Clive Standen.
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As reported by Bloody Disgusting, the shelved Patient Zero will finally make its way to audiences, though it's no longer slated for theatrical release. The movie is now set to hit DVD and Blu-ray, and day-and-date VOD as well in all likelihood, on October 23rd, 2018.
Thanks to franchises like Underworld and Resident Evil, Screen Gems has developed a reputation for cranking out moderately successful horror fare, with the occasional one-off hit like Don't Breathe also thrown in the mix. But with both the Resident Evil and Underworld franchises apparently wrapping up (at least on the feature film side of things; though both franchises reportedly could return in TV series form), the Sony division finds itself somewhat lost in the woods at the present moment. Clearly, Patient Zero is perceived as a disaster after it was pulled from the release schedule and unceremoniously dumped onto home video. Another planned Screen Gems release, the horror film Slender Man, also finds itself in limbo after producers elected to shop the movie to other distributors following a disagreement over Sony's decision to give the movie a small-scale roll-out.
It's possible that Slender Man could end up finding its way to a streaming service like Netflix or Amazon before all is said and done. Streamers have shown themselves increasingly willing to pick up problematic studio features in recent months, the most obvious example of this trend being Netflix's acquisition of The Cloverfield Paradox after Paramount apparently deemed the movie too terrible for theatrical release. It's not known if producers tried shopping Patient Zero to Netflix or any other streamer before electing to quietly put the movie out on home video. But if they did try to get Netflix interested, and even they chose to pass, then Patient Zero must truly be an awful movie.
Source: Bloody Disgusting