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Steven Soderbergh Working on ‘Philosophical’ Sequel to ‘Contagion’

Steven Soderbergh is working with "Contagion" screenwriter Scott Burns on a "philosophical" sequel to their pandemic film.



Warner Bros./screenshot

Contagion” might be nine years old, but Steven Soderbergh’s well-received pandemic thriller became one of 2020’s most-discussed films as the coronavirus pandemic swept throughout the United States.

Soderbergh revealed during a recent interview on the Happy Sad Confused podcast that he is developing a “philosophical” sequel to “Contagion” alongside Scott Burns, who served as screenwriter on the 2011 film. The project appears to be in its early stages and will unlikely be a direct sequel to “Contagion,” but Soderbergh noted that it may touch on similar themes and ideas.

“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,” Soderbergh said. “You’ll kind of look at the two of them as kind of paired, but very different hair colors. So, 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” centered on a fictional viral outbreak in the United States, the chaos that ensued, and the government’s attempts to handle the situation. The plot of “Contagion” contained more than a few parallels to the real-world coronavirus pandemic, which caused the film to skyrocket in popularity earlier in the year. “Contagion” enjoyed a spike in views through FandangoNOW and iTunes shortly after the pandemic began spreading throughout the United States.

Soderbergh and the “Contagion” cast have shared their thoughts on the coronavirus in recent months. Soderbergh, who said he was taken aback by the United States’ response to the pandemic earlier in the year, began leading a Director’s Guild of America committee regarding safe filming practices in April. “Contagion” cast members such as Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, and Jennifer Ehle recorded safety PSAs earlier in the year, while Ian Lipkin, who served as a medical consultant on “Contagion,” stressed the dangers of the pandemic after he contracted the coronavirus in March.

Soderbergh’s full interview on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, which also included “James Bond” tidbits and the director’s thoughts on filming during the coronavirus pandemic, can be listened to here.

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