Screen Gems has tapped German filmmaker Stefan Ruzowitzky to direct their genre thriller Patient Zero.

The story, written by Michael Le, is set in a world where a strain of rabies has turned most of humanity into deadly creatures addicted to violence. The plot centers on a man who discovers he has the unique ability to communicate with these dangerous predators, which spearheads the search to find Patient Zero, the first person afflicted with this disease, in hopes of finding a cure for his wife and the rest of mankind. When the screenplay was first sold, the creatures were zombies, but that has been changed in subsequent rewrites.

Vincent Newman is producing for Screen Gems, with shooting scheduled to begin sometime this summer in Germany.

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Stefan Ruzowitzky is best known for directing The Counterfeiters, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2008. He also directed the 2012 indie thriller Deadfall, which starred Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde.