Scott Z. Burns Writing a 'Virus Movie' Script for Soderbergh

September 29, 2009
Source: The Playlist

Steven Soderbergh and Scott Z. Burns

Director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns recently released their film The Informant! the to tune of about $21 million, an impressive opening total. While talking with Creative Screenwriting magazine's Jeff Goldsmith (via The Playlist), Burns revealed that inspired by a scene he was writing for the character Mark Whitacre in The Informant, he developed the idea for a "virus movie" that was pitched as "Traffic meets Outbreak." Sounds like an ensemble thriller about viruses and the way health is addressed in contemporary society. But alas, Burns had to put the project on hold when the swine flu epidemic hit.

"So now I've kind of had to stop because I want to see where it plays out," Burns said regarding the status of the unnamed project. He had finished three months of work and sixty pages before the swine flu hit. He has no interest in making it into a "TV movie" (sounds like he'd rather finish it as a full-fledged studio feature instead) and will wait until "we get a little further down" and see what happens with the swine flu epidemic before continuing with the project. Although we don't know too much about this, it does sound interesting, and I'd love to see Soderbergh take on another Traffic-like movie, whether it's about viruses or otherwise.

Don't get excited, this probably won't be anything like a zombie movie. But I don't think it'll be as bleak as something like Blindness either. We'll let you know if we hear anything new about this, but it sounds like Burns won't get back to it for quite a while. He better hurry up, because when I talked to Soderbergh, he said he only had a few more years in him before he would stop directing forever. Sound like a good project?

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Reader Feedback - 2 Comments


Wants to see where the swine flu "outbreak" heads? The swine flu is just typical media overblowing something. Every single year there's some virus that breaks out and has the whole world cowering in fer, and every year it blows away eventually. They try to make it seem like swine flu is killing people left and right and it's dangerous, when it's not. It has the same exact effects as the regular flu, it's just that we don't have a readily available shot for it. It's only killing the elderly and people that already had other ailments. With the rant over, I think this could be a really interesting movie. An actual virus along the lines of a modern black death could be devastating with today's travel technology. With Soderbergh at the helm, this could be really great.

Rorschach90 on Sep 29, 2009


There has never been a good virus movie and there most likely never will be. Unless the virus is just a subplot, the movie will be a "been there, done that" mess

Antioch on Sep 30, 2009

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