The Mane Event
Five things you need to know about… The new US thriller based on James Patterson’s bestselling novel
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
Zoo doesn’t take place just in zoos!