Contagion’s Spread in the Spotlight

Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne, Bryan Cranston, and many more are in this upcoming movie! “What movie?” you ask. These great actors have all come together to participate in a film entitled Contagion. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Contagion is “an action-thriller centered on the threat posed by a deadly disease and an international team of doctors contracted by the CDC to deal with the outbreak.” ( Yahoo sums up the plot of this film like this: Contagion “illustrates the worst case scenario of a global viral pandemic from multiple points of view, as ordinary people become severely ill and must be cared for by their loved ones, and harried doctors struggle to contain the disease.” Kind of a mixture of Outbreak, Day After Tomorrow, and 28 Days Later. Let’s take a look at today’s spotlighted film.

Over the past several months, news has sprinkled the web as actor after actor signed on to participate in this highly anticipated movie. But, before we talk about the actors a little more, let’s look at the director, Steven Soderbergh. Soderbergh has either directed or produced the following films: The Ocean’s trilogy, Traffic, Michael Clayton, Good Night and Good Luck, Insomnia, Syrania, Pleasantville, Out of SightThe Informant, Solaris, Erin Brockovich, Rumor Has It, and many more. Notice a lot of George Clooney titles there? That’s because Soderbergh and Clooney co-founded a production company named Section Eight Productions that made several of those titles. Soderbergh and Clooney have been friends for a while and made films together from 2000-2006 until Section Eight Productions dissolved after Soderbergh’s decision to focus mainly on directing instead of producing.

Soderbergh’s list of accomplishments also include becoming the first elected Vice President of the Directors’ Guild of America in 2002. In addition to that, he is the only director ever to have two films receive “Best Director nominations in the same year for the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes, and the Directors’ Guild of America.” (Traffic and Erin Brockovich in 2000)

The writer for Contagion, Scott Burns, also has some notches on his belt of success. Burns wrote the screenplay for The Informant, Bourne Ultimatum, andPu-239. If you haven’t seen or heard of Pu-239, here is the trailer.

It would appear to me that Burns is well in his element writing the screenplay for a film like Contagion that is about a worldwide epidemic with catastrophic results.

Well, director and writer make Contagion look to be pretty amazing already. The cast makes it appear, at this point, to be a solid star-studded trifecta that promises to not disappoint. You saw the list up above. I’m surprised that Clooney is not part of the film after all of the titles he has worked with Soderbergh on. But I am not surprised at Matt Damon’s name in the mix. Here, once again, is the list of actors….along with their respective roles/plot in the film.

  • Matt Damon (Bourne trilogy)—Thomas Emhoff: business man, based in Minneapolis, husband to ailing wife Beth.
  • Gwyneth Paltrow (Iron Man)—Beth Emhoff: business woman, travelled back from Hong Kong, struck with mysterious ailment.
  • Kate Winslet (Titanic)—Dr. Erin Mears: CDC doctor monitoring virus, sent to MN to monitor Emhoff.
  • Marion Cotillard (Inception)—Dr. Leonora Orantes: European W.H.O. doctor researching genesis of virus.
  • Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes)—Alan Krumwiede: traveling conspiracy theorist spreading fact and fiction about the world-plaguing disease.
  • Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix)—Dr. Ellis Cheever: head of CDC.
  • and several other supporting actors including Bryan Cranston, Demetri Martin, Jennifer Ehle, Elliott Gould, and Chin Han.

(anybody else notice that this is somewhat of a reunion for the cast of The Talented Mr. Ripley?)

Although we’ve seen globally devastating viruses and plagues in the movies before, this one looks to be even more plausible, and, because of that, even more dooming/frightening. As one might expect, there are elements of politics, terrorism, health issues, human existence, self-preservation, determination, and more in this movie! I already like it because it will focus on and show the viewpoints of people all around the world and the effects that the virus will have as it spreads. Similar to how Independence Day showed worldwide views…maybe even more. I don’t know, I haven’t seen Contagion yet! It’s still filming! 😉 

Soderbergh takes his camera all over the world for this film as filming locations include: China, Dubai, Japan, Switzerland, The United Kingdom, Iran, Brazil, Russia, Malaysia, The United States, and more. This movie is going to be large on a planetary scale! Great cast, great director, great writer, great locations, great plot..the only thing missing is a great audience to go view it. When can you expect Contagion to release in theaters? In exactly 1 year and 1 day from this post. Look for Contagion to spread worldwide on October 21, 2011!

What do you think of Contagion so far? Are you interested in seeing it?

Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!


up next: “Trailer Time Thursday!”


  1. Damon’s character is based in Minneapolis but Soderberg’s not filming in my neck of the woods? 😦 I think Outbreak was a good movie, 28 Days Later even better, so with this kind of talents involved, this sounds incredibly promising. The biochemical threat is not one to take lightly but it sure makes for a compelling movie with the various themes you mention.


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