Ever wonder, when you dip your fingers into a bowl of nuts at the bar or a mint tray at the hostess stand, how many other people have done the same (and where their fingers have been)? Screenwriter Scott Z. Burns (The Bourne Ultimatum) did. He was fascinated by the thought. So much so, he pitched his idea of a fatal disease, that spreads like the common cold, through doorknobs and turnstiles, to director Steven Soderbergh while they worked together on 2009’s The Informant!. Burns’ pitch grew into the action-thriller Contagion, starring Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Marion Cotillard. Script sat down with Burns to talk multiple storylines, multiple locations, and keeping his fingers on the keyboard and out of the nut bowl.
- “Blank paper is both a warning and an invitation …”
- “I may have some ideas about things, but I try not to fall in love with them.”
- “If you’re falling in love with a piece of language in a movie, you have to be really careful.”
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