'The Big Short' writer Charles Randolph to direct Wuhan drama about the start of the pandemic

Tom Butler
Senior Editor
In this March 17, 2020, photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, a medical worker looks at CT scans at the Huoshenshan field hospital in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province. (Wang Yuguo/Xinhua via AP)

Screenwriter Charles Randolph is set to make his directorial debut with a drama about the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan that led to the current global pandemic.

Randolph, who is also set to write the as-yet-untitled drama for SK Global, previously wrote The Big Short and Bombshell, both of which also dramatised recent real-life events. Previous titles from SK Global include Hell or High Water and Moneyball.

According to a report on The Hollywood Reporter the film – which will be shot on location in China and other international locations – will cover "the dramatic weeks in China as the heroic medical community confronts a mysterious virus, soon to be come a global pandemic."

Randolph said, "I’m very happy to be working with everyone at SK Global to get this right. The deeper we dig, the richer the story of Wuhan becomes. It’s one thing to fight a monster. It’s another thing to fight a monster in the dark."

Charles Randolph attends the 2020 Writers Guild Awards West Coast Ceremony at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 01, 2020. (Charley Gallay/Getty Images for WGAW)

The coronavirus outbreak was first formally identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan and reported to the World Health Organisation on 31 December, 2019.

The World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020, and a pandemic on 11 March. More than 10 million cases of COVID-19 have now been recorded in more than 188 countries and territories. The outbreak has resulted in more than 500,000 deaths globally to date.

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Li Wenliang, the doctor at Wuhan Central Hospital who tried to issue the first warning about coronavirus in December last year to 30 colleagues, was warned by Chinese police to stop "making false comments". He died in February after contracting the virus.

WHO initially praised China’s response to the outbreak, but in June it was reported that officials had delayed the release of vital information “at a time when the outbreak arguably might have been dramatically slowed.”

"Charles takes us through an electrifying and revealing drama all of us are living through," SK Global's John Penotti and Charlie Corwin said in a statement.

"His vivid storytelling and insights are at the heart of this narrative. We couldn’t be more pleased to support his vision and directorial debut."

The untitled Wuhan drama does not yet have a release date.