Steven Soderbergh assembled an all-star cast — including Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne, and Marion Cotillard — for his deadly-virus thriller Contagion, and the chilling first trailer has just hit the web. That's four Oscar winners and two Oscar nominees right there. Not to mention co-star Bryan Cranston, who holds three consecutive Emmys himself.
The heavy-hitting cast is a testament to how much actors want to work with Soderbergh, the thesp-friendly helmer behind Traffic, Erin Brockovich, and the Ocean's Eleven movies, who, of course, owns an Oscar himself (for Traffic).
Contagion looks reminiscent of the 1995 thriller Outbreak, which capitalized on the public panic at the time surrounding the Ebola virus. Outbreak featured a starry ensemble cast as well: Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Cuba Gooding Jr., Donald Sutherland, and (bonus points for those who remember) Patrick Dempsey. The film was rushed to the screen to beat out a competing Ebola-themed project that was never made, an adaptation of the bestseller The Hot Zone, a non-fiction account of the emergence of Ebola, that was to star Jodie Foster. Contagion, meanwhile, plays on the timely mass anxiety about bird flu.
For a film with the level of talent that Contagion has, there has been curiously little hype about the film. This first trailer is only appearing less than two months before the film's release, after Warner Bros. quietly bumped up the film from October to September, traditionally a dumping ground for stinkers.
Can Contagion buck the trend when it opens on September 9? Check out the eerie trailer below — and don't forget to wash your hands, people!
- Andre Chautard, YH Staff