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Could ‘Contagion’ Really Happen?

8 September 2011

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Could ‘Contagion’ Really Happen?

Steven Soderbergh’s new thriller, Contagion, boasts plenty of big names – Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, and Laurence Fishburne, to name a few – but the real star of the film isn’t on the cast list and doesn’t speak a single line of dialogue.

In fact, Contagion’s main “character” isn’t a traditional one at all; rather, it’s a lethal flu-like virus that triggers a global panic as it threatens to wipe out millions of people worldwide. Moviegoers have seen similar threats in films like 1995’s Outbreak and 2002’s 28 Days Later, but this one – which is grounded in science, not science fiction – may be the scariest yet.

Could “˜Contagion’ Really Happen?

In short, yes.

Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Burns went to great lengths to make the movie “ultrarealistic.” Operating on the belief that truth is stranger than fiction, they sought advice from various experts and public officials, all of whom, according to Burns, said that a real global pandemic was “not a matter of if, but when.”

Soderbergh and Burns’ main scientific advisor was Ian Lipkin, MD, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and a member of the Center for Disease Control’s National Biosurveillance Advisory Subcommittee. Dr. Lipkin served as the film’s on-set consultant, offering counsel on everything from script rewrites to costume choices to lab protocol.

 

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Via Everyday Health

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