The Good Wife alumna Julianna Margulies has been tapped to star in National Geographic’s scripted miniseries The Hot Zone, based on Richard Preston’s bestseller about the Ebola virus and its impact on the human race, from executive producer Ridley Scott, Lynda Obst Productions and Fox 21 Television Studios. Production will begin this fall in Toronto and South Africa.

The Hot Zone recounts the terrifying true story of the origins of Ebola, a deadly and highly infectious virus from the central African rainforest, and its first arrival on U.S. soil. In 1989, when this killer suddenly appeared in chimpanzees in a scientific lab in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., there was no known cure. A heroic U.S. Army veterinarian (Margulies) working with a secret military SWAT team put herself in mortal peril when she tried to head off the outbreak before it spread to the human population.

“Julianna is dream casting for the role of Dr. Nancy Jaax,” said Carolyn Bernstein, executive vice president, global scripted development and production, National Geographic. “Her rare combination of warmth, strength, humor and intelligence are the perfect recipe to make this terrifying true story feel relatable, grounded and human. THE HOT ZONE is the perfect example of National Geographic’s commitment to premium, brand-relevant storytelling that is at once wildly entertaining and deepens people’s understanding of the world.”

“We’re excited to once again partner with National Geographic, along with Scott Free and Lynda Obst, to tell this riveting true story,” added Andy Bourne, senior vice president, development, Fox 21 Television Studios. “With the combined prodigious talents of our producing team, showrunners and the virtuoso Julianna Margulies, this series will inspire and terrify viewers in equal measure.”

“After working on The Hot Zone for over 20 years, I’m thrilled to finally be able to bring the true story of the origins of Ebola to the screen through our partnership with National Geographic, Scott Free and Fox 21. With the threat of global pandemics more relevant and urgent than ever, now is the perfect time to tell this compelling story,” said Lynda Obst, executive producer.

Margulies starred as Alicia Florrick on all seven seasons of The Good Wife. She most recently guest-starred on Dietland. Margulies is repped by WME.