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SDCC – PATIENT ZERO: Not A Zombie Movie. Really. Stop Calling It That.

By Erin Maxwell

Another year. Another set of must-see panels. And yes, another zombie movie.

Although the cast and crew of Patient Zero will be quick to jump to correct anyone that calls it a “zombie movie.”

“Imagine you have adrenaline pumping through your veins…all the time,” said co-star Clive Standen. “The zombies are the undead. This is more like a new evolution of mankind. They have a plan.
They want to wipe or the human race and take over.”

Starring Matt Smith, Natalie Dormer, John Bradley and Stanley Tucci, Patient Zero takes place in a world where a majority of the population has been infected with a virus that makes people hyper strong and aggressive (like in the more recent versions of Dawn of the Dead), their eyes change color (like in The Walking Dead) and they lose the ability to communicate (like in every zombie movie ever). They are also very bitey.

But this isn’t a zombie movie.

This is “the infected,” and they are threat.

In the film, Smith plays a man who was bitten, but not changed. His immunity to the disease gives him the ability to help scientist Dormer find the cause and cure for the virus, which can only be stopped by locating the first infected person.

Smith also gains more than the ability to hold on to his puppy dog eyes and command of the English language: he can communicate with the Infected. Their grunts and groans is more than just a creepy little detail, but actually a language.

Enter Tucci, a man who is infected, yet shares his belief that he and his kind are not victims of a disease, but the next step in evolution. It is mankind who must be stopped and cured.

Writer Mike Le came up with the concept while attending SDCC a while back.

“Inspiration for the movie came from San Diego Comic-Con. While I was walking, I saw a zombie smoking a cigarette. He came off as an individual and began to wonder about him. I began inverting the mythos. What if the moaning was actually a language?,” said Le.

Thus, Smith and Tucci enter a cat-and-mouse game for the human race. Think Sleuth, but with a bit more gore.

And definitely no zombies.

Patient Zero opens March 9, 2015
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