Thursday, January 6, 2011

CDC turns into movie set for 'Contagion'

What's going on at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? Traffic backed up around Emory today as news cameras, soldiers and police swarmed around the CDC entrance.

A major pandemic? No, just a movie about one.

Filming for the Warner Brothers production "Contagion" will continue in the CDC/Emory area and other parts of metro Atlanta during the next few days. So you weren't hallucinating if you saw Laurence Fishburne strolling on Clifton Road. Other stars in the production include Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law and Kate Winslet.

Steven Soderbergh is directing the thriller about the unraveling of society in the face of a deadly pandemic. The SARS outbreak of 2003 and the H1N1 pandemic of 2009 make "Contagion" a timely topic. It will be interesting to see how Hollywood portrays scientists racing to find a cure for an airborne virus that kills within days as panic spreads globally, amid ordinary people and world leaders.

An early draft of the script by Scott Burns, who also wrote "The Bourne Ultimatum," gets a thumbs up from a reviewer at "The Playlist," who writes that the plot is as much about how news spreads virally in the Internet age as it is about a spreading virus. Jude Law plays a crazed blogger.

From deadly flu to dengue fever, rising risks
Science and disasters in the movies

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