Cold Storage

David Koepp, best known as the screenwriter of Jurassic Park, published his first novel last year. It’s a bioterrorism thriller called Cold Storage, and before it was even published, Hollywood studios were engaged in a bidding war for the film rights. Paramount came out on top, and now the studio’s film adaptation has found a director: Jonny Campbell, whose credits include Westworld, Dracula, and Doctor Who. Get details about the plot below.

According to Variety, Jonny Campbell will direct Paramount’s take on Cold Storage – although because of the global pandemic, an official start date still hasn’t been pencilled in for the production. Here’s what the book is about (via Amazon):

They thought it was contained. They were wrong.

When Pentagon bioterror operative Roberto Diaz was sent to investigate a suspected biochemical attack, he found something far worse: a highly mutative organism capable of extinction-level destruction. He contained it and buried it in cold storage deep beneath a little-used military repository.

Now, after decades of festering in a forgotten sub-basement, the specimen has found its way out and is on a lethal feeding frenzy. Only Diaz knows how to stop it.

He races across the country to help two unwitting security guards—one an ex-con, the other a single mother. Over one harrowing night, the unlikely trio must figure out how to quarantine this horror again. All they have is luck, fearlessness, and a mordant sense of humor. Will that be enough to save all of humanity?

Paramount bought the rights to this back in 2018, long before the coronavirus pandemic made this subject matter more topical than ever. Koepp, whose screenwriting credits also include movies as varied as Mission: Impossible, Spider-Man, War of the Worlds, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and The Mummy, is writing the screenplay based on his own novel. Frankly, I’m surprised he’s not directing this, too: he’s previously directed Stir of Echoes, Secret Window, Premium Rush, and the infamous Johnny Depp vehicle Mortdecai.

Campbell has almost exclusively worked in TV, and on shows I’ve personally never heard of: things like Informer, Ashes to Ashes, In the Flesh, etc. But I’d love to be blown away by what he does what this story, so I have my fingers crossed that this turns out to be the type of ’90s style adult-centered thriller Hollywood doesn’t often make anymore.

I’m also curious to see how the world will respond to a spate of fictional films that address this strange period in history – either directly, like the inevitable indie films set during quarantine, or indirectly, like this one which involves a virus but not the virus.

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