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Stanley Tucci is easily one of Hollywood's most reliable character actors. Even when he's not given much to work with in terms of character, he always puts in a memorable performance that you're thinking about as you're leaving the theater. That really shouldn't be a problem at all with his latest project, Patient Zero, as he'll be playing a psychotic, rabies-infected doctor.
This news has come to us from Deadline,which notes that Stanley Tucci is joining a rather geek-friendly cast. Natalie Dormer, with whom he co-starred in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, is playing the movie's female lead, while the former Doctor Matt Smith is also attached. The project is based on a script by up-and-coming screenwriter Mike Le, and is set in a world where the world has been affected by a pandemic of a "super strain of rabies." More than just getting people sick, it actually evolves them into something much more monstrous and violent. The hero of the story is an immune survivor who has the strange ability to communicate with the infected. He uses this to go on the hunt for patient zero so that he can save his wife and all of humanity.
From the plot description, you might think that Patient Zero's central villain would be the disease, but it seems that's not entirely the case. According to the trade report, Stanley Tucci will be playing an infected and dangerous professor who discovers there's a lab working on a cure and begins working on a way to stop their efforts and prevent them from finding the source of the disease.
Tucci had a pretty damn busy year in 2014, both in live action and voice roles. In the animation world he voiced Leonardo da Vinci in Mr. Peabody & Sherman, and also was featured in multiple episodes of the new Netflix series BoJack Horseman. He's also the only actor who can say that he was a part of both the biggest international hit of the year, and the biggest domestic hit, as he starred in both Michael Bay's Transformers: Age of Extinction as well as the aforementioned Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1. This year should also be rather big for him, as he not only has the final Hunger Games movie coming out, but he is also part of the British series Fortitude and has a role opposite Michael Keaton in Thomas McCarthy's Catholic sex scandal film Spotlight.
Patient Zero is being directed by Austrian filmmaker Stefan Ruzowitzky (Downfall) and while Screen Gems is backing it, a release date has not yet been announced. Considering the growth in the cast, it shouldn't be long before this project gets moving a the studio plants a flag in an upcoming weekend.