'Contagion' Writer Scott Z. Burns Next Set to Direct 'The Side Effects'

September 7, 2011
Source: The Playlist

Scott Z. Burns

The writer has lent his talents on the page to films like The Bourne Ultimatum, and upcoming projects like David Fincher's new spin on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the big screen adaptation of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (which will team the Contagion writer with Steven Soderbergh again), but Scott Z. Burns has also directed his own film in the form of the nuclear fallout drama Pu-239. Now it sounds like his next project is already lined up as The Playlist recently spoke with Burns who revealed that he will direct The Side Effects, a new psychological thriller set in the world of pharmaceuticals. More info below.

Though it sounds like the project could be very similar to Contagion, Burns description and talk about research done at New York's Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital while working on the series "Wonderland" with Peter Berg:

"It deals with people and their moods. It’s about how we as a society can’t tolerate sadness and what that makes us vulnerable to. Peter and I and the other writers went every day for months and talked to psychiatrists, and I think I learned there that the only way these things really ring true is if you go and roll up your sleeves and get into them very deeply. It’s a story where it’s like if someone were listening to the conversation you and I were having and thought ‘Hmmm, if that’s the way that society is working how can I manipulate that, how can I use that?’

Not much in the vein of story details, but Burns at least makes the concept sound intriguing. In addition, we should be hearing much more about the project soon as it seems to be coming together very quickly. Burns says, "It’s written and Lorenzo di Bonaventura is one of the producers on it, so I’m going to get into it. It should be really great to get back to being behind the camera and hopefully using some of the things I’ve learned.” Apparently casting will begin within the next week so stay tuned as this project develops and more details on the story and cast come to light.

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