The only logical thing to do during the midst of a global pandemic is to re-watch a nearly decade-old film that recounts an eerily similar storyline to the one we're currently living through – right? Probably not, but that's exactly what the world did. At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, streams of the blockbuster film, Contagion, surprisingly sky-rocketed, with many people revisiting the pandemic thriller in the wake of COVID-19. While for many of us living through a global health crisis is enough to handle without also rewatching eerily accurate events play out on our screens, the film's director has other plans, revealing that a "philosophical" sequel to Contagion is in the works.
During a time where many of us are wondering what life will look like post-pandemic, Contagions's director Steven Soderbergh has shared that a sequel of sorts to the 2011 film is in the pipeline, with the original film's screenwriter, Scott Z. Burns, also on board. Speaking to Josh Horowitz on the podcast Happy Sad Confused, Soderbergh revealed; “I’ve got a project in development that Scott Burns is working with me on, that’s a kind of philosophical sequel to Contagion, but in a different context.”
“You’ll look at the two of them as paired, but very different hair colours,” Soderbergh continued. “Scott and I had been talking about, ‘So, what’s the next iteration of a Contagion-type story?’ We have been working on that; we should probably hot-foot it a little bit.”
Contagion, which starred the likes of Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Laurence Fishburne, was a fictionalised tale of a viral outbreak that ravaged through the United States; and the chaos which followed. The film concludes at a similar place to where we are now (IRL, of course), with vaccines for the respiratory virus still in development and medical staff continuing to navigate the nature of the pandemic with new findings uncovered each day.
In March, Burns revealed during an interview with Slate, that the pandemic had not shocked him in the way it had the rest of the world, sharing that several of the scientists he worked with on the original film had predicted an outbreak was inevitable.
“It has been very strange to me, whether on social media or in conversations with friends, that people will say to me, ‘This is uncanny how similar it is"... And I don’t find it to be that surprising, because the scientists I spoke to, and there were a lot of them, all said that this was a matter of when, not if."
"So, I guess my feeling as someone who believes in science is that when scientists tell us those things, we would do well to listen.”
Watch the trailer for the 2011 film below.