Scandal alum Tony Goldwyn and Daniel Dae Kim (Hawaii Five-O, The Good Doctor) are set as the leads in The Hot Zone: Anthrax, the second installment of Nat Geo’s scientific thriller anthology series. As previously announced, Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson will return as executive producers and showrunners for the new installment, which will focus on the harrowing anthrax attacks of 2001. Principal photography will begin this winter in Toronto. The series hails from National Geographic Channel, Scott Free Productions and 20th Television.
“Hardly the biggest news given what’s going on in the world today, But after 31 years of working in TV, this is my first series lead,” Kim wrote on Twitter following the announcement.
The Hot Zone: Anthrax takes place in 2001, just weeks after 9/11, where the United States was rocked by another deadly act of terrorism. Letters containing anthrax were sent to unsuspecting victims in Florida, Washington, D.C., and New York. The anonymous assault claimed five lives and caused panic throughout the U.S. Despite interagency turf wars and many false leads, an unlikely team of scientists, FBI agents and government departments slowly closed in on a shocking prime suspect.
Goldwyn will play Bruce Ivins, a brilliant microbiologist who becomes embroiled in the hunt to find the 2001 anthrax killer. While he works closely with the FBI to uncover who is behind the deadly anthrax letters, his growing instability and paranoia give way to even deeper and unnerving discoveries.
Kim will portray Matthew Ryker, an FBI agent with a specialty in microbiology, who, just three weeks after the 9/11 attacks, risks his career to convince his superiors of the unthinkable, that the United States is under attack again.
Goldwyn’s character is based on the real Bruce Ivins, an Army biologist who was suspected in the 2001 anthrax attacks. Kim’s Ryker is a composite character.
“Tony and Daniel are both wonderfully versatile and dimensional actors who will bring complexity and depth to these characters,” said Carolyn Bernstein, executive vice president of scripted and documentary films, National Geographic. “We can’t wait for their star turns in this startling, authentic and timely scientific thriller.”
Scott Free Production’s Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker executive produce, with Jordan Sheehan also serving as executive producer along with Lynda Obst. Richard Preston is a co-executive producer on the series. The series is produced by 20th Television and Scott Free Productions.
Goldwyn, who starred as President Fitzgerald Grant on all seven seasons of Scandal, recently completed production on King Richard and starred in back-to-back critically acclaimed Broadway productions: Olivier Award-winner The Inheritance and Network. His other recent credits include HBO’s Lovecraft Country and a co-starring role in Netflix’s Chambers.
Hawaii Five-O and Lost alum Kim can currently be seen in NBC’s New Amsterdam. Later this year, Kim stars opposite Toni Collette and Anna Kendrick in Netflix’s feature Stowaway and in Sundance film Blast Beat. Kim also is an executive producer on ABC’s The Good Doctor.
“Tony Goldwyn and Daniel Dae Kim have such tremendous depth as actors and are the perfect duo to dive into the twists and turns of the deadly attacks that sent the country into panic,” said Souders and Peterson, showrunners and executive producers.
The six-hour scientific thriller follows last year’s The Hot Zone, starring Julianna Margulies, which was National Geographic’s most-watched scripted series of all time.
Goldwyn is repped by CAA, Untitled, and attorneys Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham. Kim is repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners, UTA and Gang Tyre Ramer ETC.