Director-producer Ridley Scott and producer Lynda Obst are planning to bring Richard Preston's best-selling non-fiction book about the Ebola virus, The Hot Zone, to television as a limited series.

The Hollywood Reporter says the duo have worked with Preston on the project for the past year and acquired the rights to his book two decades ago with a view to making a film.

Speaking to the I, Obst said: "I think it's the speed with which it kills that makes the disease so frightening. People hoped it would stay in some remote part of the world.

"But that's a fantasy in the modern world. The modern world makes us one big connected family."

On the decision to tell the story on the small screen, she said: "A limited series is a great way to do this because you don't have to limit it to a three-act structure like you do with a film."

Author Preston is writing a new article on Ebola for next week's New Yorker magazine; The Hot Zone grew from a 1992 piece he wrote for the publication.

Scott and Obst are in talks to acquire the rights to Preston's new article in order to incorporate it into the planned series. 

The Hollywood Reporter says that Scott may direct "at least the first episode" of the series and will serve as executive producer with Obst.