12:00pm PT by Rick Porter
Noah Emmerich, Topher Grace Join NatGeo's 'Hot Zone' Limited Series
National Geographic's limited series The Hot Zone has fleshed out its cast ahead of the start of production.
The Americans star Noah Emmerich, Topher Grace, Game of Thrones' Liam Cunningham and several other actors have joined lead Julianna Margulies on the project, which began filming Thursday in Toronto. The six-episode series, based on Richard Preston's best-selling book, tells the story of the origins of the Ebola virus and its arrival in the United States in 1989.
Margulies plays Dr. Nancy Jaax, a U.S. Army scientist working with a secret military team who risks her life to stop an outbreak of Ebola when it suddenly shows up in monkeys at a primate lab in Virginia. Emmerich will play her husband, Col. Jerry Jaax, who also puts his life on the line in the operation to stop the virus.
Cunningham will play Wade Carter, a vital ally of Nancy's in the race to stop the virus' spread. Grace (BlacKkKlansman) will play Dr. Peter Jahrling, a virologist for the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases who butts heads with Dr. Jaax over the best way to contain the virus.
Also joining the cast are James D'Arcy (Homeland) as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official Trevor Rhodes; Paul James (The Path) as lab technician Ben Gellis; Nick Searcy (Justified) as Frank Mays, the colony manager at the facility where the virus originated; Robert Wisdom (The Wire) as Col. Vernon Tucker, Dr. Jaax's supervisor; and Robert Sean Leonard (House) as Walter Humboldt, a corporate liaison between research corporation Hazleton and its primate facility in Reston, Virginia.
Kelly Soulders and Brian Peterson (Nat Geo's Genius) are showrunners and executive producers along with Lynda Obst, Scott Free's Ridley Scott and David Zucker and director Michael Uppendahl. Nick Murphy is also directing episodes of The Hot Zone, which will air in 2019.