The Mane Event

Five things you need to know about… The new US thriller based on James Pat­ter­son’s best­selling novel

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

I T’S BET TER THAN THE BOOK

1 When a wave of vi­o­lent an­i­mal at­tacks starts to sweep the planet, a rene­gade zo­ol­o­gist is thrust into the race to un­lock the pan­demic’s mys­tery be­fore there’s no place left for hu­mans to hide. That’s the chill­ing premise of the new tele­vi­sion thriller Zoo, which is based on James Pat­ter­son’s best­selling book. “Peo­ple al­ways say the book is bet­ter than the movie,” Pat­ter­son tells Red Alert. “In this case, I think the se­ries is go­ing to be bet­ter than the book. It’s thrilling. It’s ex­cit­ing. It’s James Pat­ter­son meets Michael Crich­ton meets Stephen King, be­cause it has sus­pense and ad­ven­ture, as well as a lit­tle hor­ror.”

THE AN­I­MALS ARE RE­VOLT­ING

2 Don’t be fooled by the ti­tle of the se­ries. “This is not a show about zoos,” re­veals Pat­ter­son. “It’s about the world. In this fa­ble, a cou­ple of peo­ple start to no­tice that there are more at­tacks against hu­mans. Of course, they are called crazy – but then it be­comes more and more ob­vi­ous that some­thing very strange is hap­pen­ing. In Los An­ge­les, a cou­ple of lions es­cape from the zoo. That’s a lit­tle piece of the story, but a tourist bus is at­tacked in Rio de Janeiro and other things hap­pen with other an­i­mals else­where in the world, which is when the mys­tery widens. There’s a lit­tle science be­hind the mys­tery, too. There’s a lot go­ing on.”

TRUTH INSPIRED FIC­TION

3 What sparked Pat­ter­son’s imag­i­na­tion and inspired the an­i­mal at­tack tale? “In the last cou­ple of years, I no­ticed that I was read­ing a lot of sto­ries about an­i­mals act­ing in par­tic­u­larly strange ways,” the au­thor ad­mits. “There were more al­li­ga­tor at­tacks in Florida and in Ge­or­gia than ever be­fore, and there was the crazy sit­u­a­tion with fish jump­ing into the boats in Michigan. Did you see that story? It was un­be­liev­able. You watch things like that and think, ‘ What is go­ing on here?’ That’s where the idea for Zoo came from.”

IT’S A GLOBAL AD­VEN­TURE

4 Zoo is an in­tense global thriller that trav­els around the world to cities in­clud­ing Tokyo, Paris, Rio de Janeiro and Mo­bile, Alabama. How­ever, the ac­tion was all shot on lo­ca­tion in and around New Or­leans. “It’s all Louisiana,” ex­plains Pat­ter­son. “It’s un­be­liev­able. There’s a long scene in tall grass with lions and you’ll swear it’s been shot in Africa, but it’s not. There are scenes set in Bos­ton that feel very real, but they are shot around New Or­leans, too. I thought the Louisiana coun­try­side was full of shacks and noth­ing else, but I was wrong.”

THE STORY IS NEW

5 If you’re a fan of the book, you won’t nec­es­sar­ily know too many spoil­ers from the new se­ries, which airs on CBS in the States. “The show is go­ing to be dif­fer­ent to the book,” ad­mits Pat­ter­son, talk­ing in a quiet cor­ner of a Bev­erly Hills ho­tel. “The main char­ac­ters – Jack­son, Chloe and Abra­ham, played by an in­ter­na­tional cast in­clud­ing Amer­i­can ac­tor James Wolk, French ac­tress Nora Arnezeder and ris­ing Bri­tish star Nonso Anozie – are the same, but we’ve added some new char­ac­ters to the mix. The story is go­ing to change a lot, which is ex­cel­lent.”

Zoo is cur­rently air­ing on CBS. It airs on Sky 1 in the UK later this year.

sci- fact! James Pat­ter­son was the first per­son to sell more than one

mil­lion ebooks.

Zoo doesn’t take place just in zoos!

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