First Footage: Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Contagion’

Damned Entertainment Tonight strikes again. Studios love to give the show teaser clips of upcoming films for the tanned talking head hosts to gab over. In this case the footage is from a film that is exactly the sort of action-packed mainstream tentpole that ET thrives on. Oh, wait, actually, it is Steven Soderbergh‘s upcoming global pandemic thriller Contagion, aka one of our more anticipated films of the fall.

Wouldn’t footage of this best be seen without the blaring voiceover? Yes, but I think at this point studio publicists just release footage to ET to laugh at us complaining about it. So: this is a not an official trailer release, or even a good capture of the ET teaser segment. It is a brief video that nonetheless offers the first look at Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, and Laurence Fishburne. Wait for the trailer if you like, or hit the jump for the early look. Read More »

We’ve got a handful of release dates to share, with the biggest possibly being Guillermo del Toro‘s upcoming Pacific Rim, which, if things go well, will begin shooting late this summer or in early fall. Warner Bros. will distribute the Legendary Pictures production, and has just set July 12, 2013 as the release date. Pacific Rim is scripted by Travis Beacham and already boasts Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba and Charlie Day in the cast. The story is “set in a future where giant malevolent creatures threaten to destroy the earth, and the planet must band together and use advanced weapons technology to eradicate the growing threat.” [THR]

After the break, a new date for Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, and dates for the Stephenie Meyer adaptation The Host, as well as for Roman Polanski’s Carnage, Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In, and Tucker & Dale Vs Evil. Read More »

Page 2: Weekend Edition

What is Page 2? Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 31 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness. If you have any interesting items that we might’ve missed that you think should go in /Film’s Page 2 – email us!

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For the past few months, Steven Soderbergh has been all over the place with the cast and crew of Contagion. They’ve been shooting in San Francisco over the past week or so, and will close out work in that city with a massive scene at Candlestick Park that involves over 1000 extras. (The production manager for the film described the scene at the 49ers home field as “like a large vaccination center.”)

Before that happens, we’ve got some set pics showing at least one urban setting for the film, which follows the outbreak and effects of a global pandemic. Read More »

Over the past few years Steven Soderbergh has expressed frustration with filmmaking and has, more than once, talked about the prospect of an early retirement from directing. But the last time that talk cropped up it was just before the director went on a serious filmmaking jag. Rapid-fire projects ensued: The Girlfriend Experience, The Informant!, And Everything is Going Fine, Haywire (expect a trailer and poster soon) and Contagion, which is shooting now. Liberace is planned for 2011, and there’s the prospect of a Man From U.N.C.L.E. film from Mr. Soderbergh, as well.

But don’t think that all means that the retirement talk has been buried. Speaking from the set of Contagion, Matt Damon says Steven Soderberg really does plan to retire, and soon. Read More »


Almost a year ago there was word that Mark Wahlberg would be producing and perhaps starring in an English-language remake of Reykjavik-Rotterdam, the Icelandic film about “a security guard and former alcohol smuggler on the Iceland-Netherlands route [who] is tempted back into illicit business by a dubious friend after encountering financial problems.”

We’ve heard almost nothing about the film since that announcement, but now Kate Beckinsale is reportedly set to appear in the movie, which has been retitled Contraband. Baltasar Kormakur, who produced and appeared in the original, will direct this version.[Latino Review]

After the break, additions and changes for Steven Soderberg’s global virus movie Contagion. Read More »


Briefly: This is the sort of short news that might usually be dropped into an aggregate Casting Notes piece, but after seeing Winter’s Bone this weekend I’m too high on John Hawkes to sideline him like that. Hawkes is a magnificent presence in Winter’s Bone, contributing a great deal to one of the year’s best films.

So I’m excited that he’ll now be a part of Steven Soderbergh‘s Contagion, the “ensemble piece about the spread of a H1N1-type disease on an international scale.” (via Movieweb.) He’ll work alongside  Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Laurence Fishburne, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law. Quite a cast, but I have no doubt that Hawkes can stand shoulder to shoulder with all of them.

If you haven’t seen Winter’s Bone, you should still know Hawkes from Deadwood, Eastbound & Down, Lost or Me, You and Everyone We Know. He’s one of the best character actors working. Please catch Winter’s Bone (trailer here) if it’s playing in your town, and hopefully you’ll find it to be the antidote to a pretty crappy summer movie season. And you’ll probably end up anticipating Hawkes appearances in movies like Contagion even more.

Sherlock Holmes

Briefly: I was surprised to see Jude Law‘s name pop up in the late-breaking cast list for Martin Scorsese‘s Hugo Cabret, which has just begun filming in 3D. Possible spoiler: Now we know that Law plays the father of Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield), which, given that the story is about Hugo being an orphan stranded in a train station, probably means it’s a rather small role. Too bad about that, but there is no shortage of other talent in the film.

After Hugo Cabret, Law has two more films lined up: Sherlock Holmes 2 and the Steven Soderbergh thriller Contagion. Law says that Sherlock 2 could well shoot this fall. “It looks likely that we’re going to shoot the second Sherlock Holmes in October,” he told Empire. The Soderberg film would go after that. For what it’s worth, Law described the Soderberg film in almost exactly the same terms we’ve heard used before (“It’s an ensemble piece about the spread of a H1N1-type disease on an international scale.”) so not a lot of new info there.

Journey to the Center of the Earth
Warner Bros, Walt Disney Pictures and 20th Century Fox have announced new release dates for a sixteen films to be released over the next three years. We have information and dates for all of the films, after the jump.

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After a fairly short time on the market, Steven Soderbergh‘s film Contagion, to be shot later this year, has been bought by Warner Bros. The studio was bidding against Summit and other studios to nab the film, which already had a big cast attached (Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow) and Participant Media on hand to co-finance the $60m budget.  [Deadline Hollywood]

And Warners seems to like being in the Matt Damon business as the studio is also negotiating with he and Ben Affleck to form a new first-look partnership. Damon and Affleck have had one production company together, LivePlanet, which was housed at Disney and was responsible for Project Greenlight. Seeing the two names together instantly conjures up images of Good Will Hunting, which broke them into mainstream fame, but we don’t yet know what they’ll work on, or if this deal will produce a film featuring the duo. [Vulture]