VIRUS thriller Contagion is available to watch on Netflix NOW, just in case you weren’t freaking out enough during lockdown.
In scenes scarily similar to the current Covid-19 pandemic, the Steven Soderbergh film follows civilians and medics trying to deal with a killer virus outbreak. With a star-studded cast including Matt Damon and Gywneth Paltrow, heres all you need to know about the 2011 flick.
Is Contagion on Netflix?
Directed by Steven Soderbergh (Magic Mike, Ocean’s Eleven, Erin Brockovich) Contagion which came out in 2011, is available to watch NOW on Netflix in the UK.
The synopsis reads: “Healthcare professionals, government officials and everyday people find themselves in the midst of a pandemic as the CDC works to find a cure.”
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The thriller boasts a star studded cast including, Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Jude Law and Kate Winslet and follows a race against time to stop an unknown virus that sparks a global pandemic.
Who is in the cast of Contagion?
Gwyneth Paltrow as Beth Emhoff
The 47-year-old actress plays lead character Beth, who is the first patient to contract the deadly virus.
Gwyneth is best known for big screen roles such as Seven, Emma, Sliding Doors, Shallow Hall and more recently as Pepper Potts in Marvel movies.
She now focuses on her lifestyle company Goop and is the author of several cookbooks.
Paltrow was engaged to actor Brad Pitt, who she dated from 1994 to 1997, then married Coldplay frontman Chris Martin in 2003 but the couple divorced in 2016. The pair have two children together daughter Apple and son Moses.
Matt Damon as Mitch Emhoff
Matt plays Beth’s husband Mitch, who is adamant that his daughter stays safe isolated in the house for fear that she would contract the disease.
The 49-year-old actor is most famous for starring in Good Will Hunting, Saving Private Ryan, The Departed and as Jason Bourne in the Bourne Franchise.
Damon met wife Luciana Bozán Barroso in April 2003 while filming Stuck on You.
They became engaged in September 2005 and married in the following December. The couple have four children.
Jude Law as Alan Krumwiede
Jude plays a devious character in the movie who spreads misinformation #fakenews about bogus cures and often seen wearing full body PPE.
The 47-year-old English actor is no stranger to a Hollywood blockbuster, having starred in the likes of The Talented Mr. Ripley, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, The Holiday, The Grand Budapest Hotel and as Dr. Watson in the Sherlock films.
Law met actress Sadie Frost while working on the film Shopping and they married in September 1997, but divorced on 29 October 2003. They have three children together.
While filming Alfie in 2003, Jude and co-star Sienna Miller began a relationship and became engaged in 2004.
On 8 July 2005, Law issued a public apology to Sienna for having an affair with his children’s nanny.
Kate Winslet as Dr. Erin Mears
Kate stars as Dr. Erin Mears, an epidemiologist on the front lines of the pandemic.
The 44-year-old English actress found global stardom after her lead role as Rose in Titanic alongside Leonardo DiCaprio.
She then went on to appear in more big movies including Finding Neverland, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Revolutionary Road and Steve Jobs.
Other members of the cast include:
- Laurence Fishburne as Dr. Ellis Cheever
- John Hawkes as Roger
- Marion Cotillard as Dr. Leonora Orantes
- Tien You Chui as Li Fai
- Daria Strokous as Irina
- Monique Gabriela Curnen as Lorraine Vasquez
- Bryan Cranston as RADM Lyle Haggerty
Is Contagion realistic?
The movie is about a fictional pandemic of a virus called MEV-1 which kills between 25 to 30 per cent of those infected.
The science may not be completely accurate as the film was not based on a real-life true story, but all the roles were backed by scientific advisors and the theories carefully researched and vetted.
Contagion’s writer Scott Burns told NPR at the time of release that the movie enlisted medical experts as they wanted to depict a ‘plausible outbreak’.
He said: “We were trying to tell a story that was credible within the boundaries of scientific understanding, but also illuminate how our world might respond.”
The film’s fictional virus MEV-1, is reportedly based upon the bat-borne Nipah virus, which was discovered in 1999 when an outbreak caused brain and lung disease in people and pigs in Malaysia.
In the film, MEV-1 kills people within days, but in real life the incubation period for Nipah is much longer.
Like many deadly viruses such as Covid-19, the time period from exposure to infection and the appearance of the first symptoms is more like two weeks.
There are various more realistic and familiar scenes highlighting the spread of the virus – including hand washing, shaking hands, social distancing and isolation – all scenes that are chillingly accurate and very close to home.