The Curious Case of Matt Smith’s Patient Zero

After a considerable delay, viewers will finally have a chance to see Matt Smith in zombie film Patient Zero this autumn – only it won’t be in cinemas. Instead, some two years after its original release date, the movie will go straight to DVD and Blu-ray, with a possible video on demand showing to come.

Filmed in the UK in March and April 2015, Prisoner, sorry Patient Zero sees Smith in the title role as a survivor of a zombie apocalypse who, after himself being infected, has the unique ability to talk with the other undead.

According to Collider, the script, written by Mike Le, was actually subject to a bidding war between studios before Screen Gems won out, with Stefan Ruzowitzky, whose 2007 film The Counterfeiters won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2008, directing. Appearing alongside Smith are Natalie Dormer, probably best known for Game of Thrones, and Stanley Tucci, who along with Dormer appeared in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and 2 and Captain America: The First Avenger, though they did not feature on screen together.

The reasons for the long postponement of the film’s release are unclear, although such delays are not exactly uncommon on the film world, and the phrase ‘straight to DVD’ carries with it the obvious implication that the studio doesn’t have much faith in the production. The post-apocalyptic genre is certainly one which both film and television have mined frequently in recent years, and it remains to be seen whether Patient Zero delivers on its director’s pledge of providing ‘something new’.

Patient Zero is available on Digital Now and in theatres on September 14th. A UK release date has yet to be confirmed.