Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Written by: Scott Z. Burns
Produced by: Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher, Gregory Jacobs
Other cast: Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow
Release date: September 9, 2011
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Running time: 106 minutes
Soon after her return from a business trip to Hong Kong, Beth Emhoff dies from what is a flu or some other type of infection. Her young son dies later the same day. Her husband Mitch however seems immune. Thus begins the spread of a deadly infection. For doctors and administrators at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, several days pass before anyone realizes the extent or gravity of this new infection. They must first identify the type of virus in question and then find a means of combating it, a process that will likely take several months. As the contagion spreads to millions of people worldwide, societal order begins to break down as people panic.
To promote this film, Warner Bros. Pictures Canada built two giant Petri dishes treated with bacteria and fungi and set them in a Toronto storefront window. Over several days, the bacteria and fungi specimens grew to spell out the name of the film and form biohazard symbols.
Consultant Dr. Ian Lipkin – professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health – said the virus in the film is one he created based on some traits of the Nipah virus from Malaysia in the late 1990s which spread from pigs to farmers.
In the magazine New Scientist’s article “Contagion doesn’t skimp on science”(15/9/2011), the author writes that: “It’s hard to name many Hollywood blockbusters that are as invested in the realities of science as Contagion”, “Although it is by no means flawlessly accurate – it’s not a NOVA documentary – Contagion has been well fact-checked compared to most science/y blockbusters”, “…very few Hollywood productions realistically portray the process of science, both its successes and frustrations. That’s what makes Contagion unique”.
Viewership rose for the movie in early 2020 when the coronavirus (2019-nCov) began to spread throughout China, with a few contained cases in other countries.
Kate Winslet filmed her role in 10 days.
Kate Winslet and Jude Law previously played brother and sister in The Holiday (2006). They’ve also appeared together in All the King’s Men (2006) where Winslet play’s Law’s love interest.
Dr. Erin Mears : Somewhere in the world, the wrong pig met up with the wrong bat.
Dave : My wife makes me take off my clothes in the garage. Then she leaves out a bucket of warm water and some soap. And then she douses everything in hand sanitizer after I leave. I mean, she’s overreacting, right?
Dr. Erin Mears : Not really. And stop touching your face, Dave.
Dr. Ellis Cheever : When was the last time you ate something that didn’t come from a vending machine?
Dr. Erin Mears : [Hesitantly] Taco Bell
Dr. Ellis Cheever : How are you?
Dr. Erin Mears : It’s good, we just finished setting up the…
Dr. Ellis Cheever : I didn’t ask what you’re doing, Beth, I asked how you are. So… how are you?