CNN Films, Sierra Tango Team for Deadly Disease Doc

Courtesy of ABC

A theatrical release is planned for 2015, followed by broadcast in 2016

The Ebola outbreak may be grabbing headlines now, but CNN Films and Sierra Tango Productions have pacted to co-produce a feature film about deadly viruses and bacteria that could cause a far bigger pandemic.

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The untitled documentary co-production will be directed and produced by Emmy winner Janet Tobias, with Michael Ehrenzweig, Peter W. Klein and Rogger Lopez co-producing. To help with tracking new pathogens, the film will follow virus hunter Larry Brilliant, a doctor and scientist who helped eradicate smallpox.

The film will be released theatrically in late 2015, followed by a planned CNN Films broadcast in 2016. "CNN Films was the obvious choice given CNN’s global perspective — and the superb work of chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta,” Tobias said in a statement Thursday.

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The partnership between CNN Films and Sierra Tango Productions was negotiated by Vinnie Malhotra and Stacey Wolf for CNN, and Josh Braun of Submarine for the filmmakers. The deadly pathogens project is the latest move by CNN into the documentary film game.

Upcoming CNN Films titles include Life Itself, a documentary about late film critic Roger Ebert; Dinosaur 13, about paleontologist Peter Larson; and Ivory Tower, a look at the financial value of a traditional college education.