Steven Soderbergh‘s 2011 movie Contagion shot back up the iTunes charts in January of this year, long before the coronavirus (aka COVID-19) was officially declared a worldwide pandemic. We wrote about how the film was eerily prescient, and in a new interview, that movie’s writer, Scott Z. Burns, addresses the comparisons between the film and our current reality, talks about the biggest mistake we’re making in combating the virus right now, and more. Read his quotes below. Read More »
Marvel’s forthcoming Black Widow movie and MGM’s 25th installment in the long-running James Bond franchise are both moving towards production this year. While Marvel’s spy thriller starring Scarlett Johansson likely won’t be in front of cameras until this summer, the next 007 mission with Daniel Craig is looking to start shooting in April. But before either of them get in front of cameras, they’re getting rewrites from new scribes. Read More »
(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, political, and opinionated about anything and everything. In this edition: Vice and The Report are among the first films to truly look back at the Bush years with a severe and critical eye..)
Adam McKay‘s Vice and Scott Z. Burns‘ Sundance film The Report both hold a microscope up to the actions of the Bush Administration, in very different ways. But both The Report and Vice arrive at the same conclusion: we’re doomed to repeat our mistakes, even after we’ve studied them. Read More »
Scott Z. Burns has plenty of Hollywood experience as the writer of The Bourne Ultimatum, Side Effects, Contagion and The Informant. With his feature directorial debut The Report, one of our most anticipated titles of Sundance this year, the filmmaker shows that he’s picked up a step or two from directors Paul Greengrass and Steven Soderbergh. The result is a quiet but boiling political thriller that explores the infuriating and ethically questionable enhanced interrogation tactics employed by the CIA following the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Read More »
Screenwriter Scott Z. Burns is responsible for scripts such as Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes and The Bourne Ultimatum, but it may be his “trilogy” of films with Steven Soderbergh that really stand out: The Informant!, Side Effects, and Contagion developed a vision of modern communication that is pessimistic, to say the least.
Now Burns is attached to direct a film based on Maxine Swann’s New York Times Magazine article ‘The Professor, The Bikini Model, And the Suitcase Full of Trouble,’ which ran last year. The story follows a wild, almost insane scam, and fits right in with some of the sensibility we’ve seen Burns express in those films with Soderbergh. Read More »
Posted on Thursday, January 16th, 2014 by Angie Han
True to his word, Steven Soderbergh has retired from the movies for now. But it’s the last part of that phrase — “from the movies” — that’s important, because outside of the movies he’s remained as busy as ever. First, he transitioned into TV with the HBO film Behind the Candelabra. Then he jumped to a historical miniseries at Cinemax called The Knick.
Now he’s preparing to move into another medium altogether. Soderbergh is teaming up with Scott Z. Burns and Chloë Grace Moretz for The Library, an Off Broadway show being put on by New York’s The Public Theater later this year. More about his latest project after the jump.
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The intensified scandal over the doping actions of Lance Armstrong have irrevocably tainted his participation in cycling. As you might expect, however, the controversy has only increased the speed at which various producers are trying to put together a film based on his story.
One of a few projects in the works about the cancer survivor and disgraced champ is Red Blooded American, housed at Warner Bros. Atlas Entertainment is producing, and Jay Roach is directing, and the development is based on a script by Scott Z. Burns (Contagion). Now Bradley Cooper has come on as a producer. He may also star in the film. Read More »
Briefly: Armie Hammer worked with one of the world’s biggest movie stars in The Lone Ranger, and now he’s set to partner up with another in The Man From U.N.C.L.E., for which James Bond creator Ian Fleming contributed early concepts. Hammer has been added to the cast of Guy Ritchie‘s new version of the espionage-focused TV series that ran in the mid-’60s. Read More »
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Posted on Saturday, March 9th, 2013 by Angie Han
The story of Lance Armstrong‘s precipitous fall from grace seems tailor made for the movies, and indeed it’s about to get two of them. Back in January, Paramount teamed up with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot to adapt Cycle of Lies, a biography by Juliet Marcur. Now Warner Bros. is prepping its own version of the tale, with Emmy-winning Game Change director Jay Roach directing and Side Effects writer Scott Z. Burns scripting. Hit the jump to keep reading.
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Steven Soderbergh, so often adventurous over the course of his career, closes out his theatrical run with the relatively conventional thriller Side Effects. Though the ideas within are familiar, a winding narrative path keeps predictability out of sight, and prevents Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns from ever falling back to one simplistic message. Soderbergh’s own skill with the form allows him to pursue that path at length, without losing the plot.
Starting off with pharmacological paranoia, the two take clear inspiration from Rosemary’s Baby, and toy with notions that call back to Hitchcock. But this is no throwback. Soderbergh has crafted a smart but pessimistic film rooted firmly in fears that are becoming more and more common today.
The film is built around a woman (Rooney Mara) who suffers from severe depression and falls into the care of a potentially dodgy psychiatrist. Side Effects traffics in the tone of modern paranoia that defined previous Soderbergh/Burns collaboration Contagion, and revels in the duplicity that was a cornerstone of their first partnership, The Informant!. The three films define something like an informal trilogy in which we are chronically disconnected, dishonest, and perhaps eventually doomed. Read More »