Flatten the curve, get the hype: ITV 2 is screening ‘Contagion’ this week

Catch up with the suddenly on-trend thriller this Thursday

Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 pandemic movie Contagion will be airing on ITV 2 this Thursday at 9pm (GMT), following the announcement of a three-week nationwide lockdown to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.

The film has been spiking in popularity since the virus first developed, with Google searches and Letterboxd logs growing enormously.

The film stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Jude Law and Kate Winslet, and sees the deadly spread of a virus across the world.

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Contagion was based on the SARS outbreak in 2003 and the swine flu epidemic in 2009.

Film fans have been revisiting or discovering the film in the wake of similarities with the coronavirus pandemic – although the film depicts a much faster and lethal spread.

Twitter users have questioned ITV’s choice to air the film following Boris Johnson’s announcement of stricter measures, limiting exercise to once per day, and outdoor activities to shopping for essential food and medicine only.

“Strange decision for ITV to show the film Contagion this week. Is it really the best idea right now?” said one.

Another user added: “I genuinely can’t believe ITV are preparing to broadcast Contagion, during the week most of the country will be isolated. Are you fucking loco?! Fear mongering when fear mongering is already out of control.”

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Contagion screenwriter Scott Z. Burns recently commented on the parallels with the current real-life situation.

He told Fortune: “The similarities between our contagion and the coronavirus are immaterial, accidental, and really not that important. What is more important and accurate is the societal response and the spread of fear and the knock-on effects of that. That is proving to be accurate.”

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