Contagion writer Scott Z. Burns isn’t surprised by the coronavirus outbreak after extensively researching pandemics for the 2013 film.
He addressed the disease after social media users began noting how eerily similar the events in the Steven Soderbergh drama are to current events.
“It’s very upsetting to see people getting sick and dying,” he tells Slate. “The part of me that is a human being is more struck by this than the part of me that is a filmmaker. That being said, it has been very strange to me, whether on social media or in conversations with friends, that people will say to me, ‘This is uncanny how similar it is’.”
He noted that while interviewing scientists as he developed the script, he discovered the spread of such a disease was inevitable.
“I don’t find it to be that surprising because the scientists I spoke to, and there were a lot of them, all said that this was a matter of when (it would happen), not if,” he added. “I guess my feeling as someone who believes in science is that when scientists tell us those things we would do well to listen.”
Contagion, which is currently popular on streaming services, stars Gwyneth Paltrow as a woman who brings home an illness during a business trip to Asia.