‘Contagion’: Screenwriter Notes the Similarities Between the 2011 Movie and the Coronavirus Pandemic

by Jeremy Spirogis

The coronavirus outbreak has now fully taken over a lot of our lives. In the midst of the craziness, movie-lovers are wanting again to the 2011 film Contagion. The screenwriter behind the movie, Scott Z. Burns, took into consideration skilled opinions and in depth public well being analysis to write down the film. Recently, the author gave his take on how the 2020 coronavirus pandemic is in some ways comparable–and completely different–to the fictional virus that spreads internationally in Contagion.

A scientific help technician extracts viruses from swab samples within the coronavirus testing laboratory at Glasgow Royal Infirmary | Jane Barlow – WPA Pool/Getty Images

‘Contagion’ scribe factors to similarities between the 2011 pandemic film and the coronavirus outbreak

Burns lately instructed Variety what he thought in regards to the American authorities’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. The Contagion screenwriter stated he was “terrified” when the Trump administration disbanded an important pandemic job pressure.

Contagion castContagion cast
Director Steven Soderbergh, Marion Cotillard and Matt Damon attend the Contagion premiere in 2011 | Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Variety additionally requested Burns when he started “to comprehend that Contagion had so many parallels to coronavirus.”

“That’s a tricky question for me,” the screenwriter responded. He expanded on his ideas:

What was actually vital to the scientists that I labored with and Steven was that what we did was their greatest guess at what would occur with a pandemic. We didn’t see it with SARS, as a result of SARS burned out in a short time. But I feel we might have in all probability gone down the identical path if SARS, which can also be a coronavirus, had gained this sort of foothold.

Burns additionally talked to Slate in regards to the relationship between Contagion and the present pandemic. He stated he wasn’t in any respect stunned by the connections; he all the time knew that finally, his screenplay can be turn into a actuality:

… It has been very unusual to me, whether or not on social media or in conversations with associates, that folks will say to me, ‘This is uncanny how similar it is.’ And I don’t discover it to be that shocking, as a result of the scientists I spoke to, and there have been plenty of them, all stated that this was a matter of when, not if.

Burns burns Trump for his response to the COVID-19 pandemic

“I wasn’t surprised that scientists were right,” Burns instructed Variety. “I have a lot of faith and confidence in science. There are other aspects of it that have been surprising.”

The Contagion screenwriter defined how his analysis and expertise visiting the Center for Disease Control whereas writing the film knowledgeable his view on coronavirus.

“I think in relation to real life, I had spent enough time at the CDC to know that there were really dedicated people there, waiting to deal with problems like this,” Burns instructed Variety. What stunned him?

I hadn’t contemplated as a screenwriter what would occur in an administration the place we defunded public well being and defunded pandemic preparedness and defunded science, after which went one step additional and discredited well being officers who have been attempting to guard us. That was one thing, as a screenwriter, I by no means might have anticipated.

Scott Z. BurnsScott Z. Burns
Scott Z. Burns in 2013 | Dominique Charriau/WireImage

However, the Contagion screenwriter left Slate with a constructive message. He has hope for the way forward for the pandemic. Burns instructed Slate:

I’m inspired by the power of scientists to type this stuff out, and I’m grateful that the mortality charge of this virus just isn’t just like the one within the film. I do imagine that we are going to type this out.

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