Contagion Trailer: Gwyneth Paltrow vs. Bird Flu

Put off by Gwyneth Paltrow’s trademark entitled breeziness? Her casually smug musings about the rigors of raising her rockstar children in an English mansion? Her sudden singing career? Her GOOP? Has Steven Soderbergh got a movie for you!

Contagion is an upcoming thriller about the global Outbreak, ahem, outbreak of a lethal virus transmitted through a single touch. It has an impressively Soderbergh-ian cast of if not thousands than at least dozens of notable names (including Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, John Hawkes, Elliott Gould, Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne. Laurence Fishburne’s moustache) and features terrifying images of a sick, panicky world gone mad: abandoned airports, missing posters, a French doctor with responsibility. But judging by the film’s trailer, the marketing for the movie will subsume all of that in service of a hook with greater international appeal: Gwyneth Paltrow dies! And, from what it looks like, quite horribly too!

It’s a bold play — not only to give away a film’s inciting incident in the trailer but also to bank an entire campaign on the universal dislike for a single person. But if there’s one actress who can unite an entire planet of haters — from those who can’t abide seeing her rap to those who can’t stand seeing her traipse around Spain refusing to eat delicious ham — it’s Gwynnie. And besides, the Contagion trailer — which, we should add, really does look great! — doesn’t give away the entire plot. For example, our most pressing, disturbing question after viewing it was left boldly unanswered. That question? “What’s up with Matt Damon’s face?”

Filed Under: Gwyneth Paltrow, Movies, Scouting Report, Steven Soderbergh, Trailers

Andy Greenwald is a staff writer for Grantland.

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