Well here’s one movie that I didn’t expect to see turned into a franchise. Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion did fairly well for Warner Brothers last year, earning $135 million worldwide on a $60 million budget. Of course, a stacked cast of well-known actors will do that for you, but would any of them actually be interested in returning for a sequel? Word on the street is that Warner Brothers is in the early stages of development on Contagion 2 — so early that they are still seeking pitches from writers as they don’t yet have a clue where they want to go with it. While I do think there could be more worth exploring, something tells me that this has direct-to-DVD written all over it.
It’s On the Grid reports that there is an Open Writing Assignment out in Hollywood right now for Contagion 2. Scott Z. Burns, who wrote the screenplay for the first film, will supposedly be acting as producer on the sequel. Steven Soderbergh may or may not be involved, but if I had to hazard a guess, I’d say that he probably won’t be.
It’s good to hear that Burns will still be there to maintain some consistency, although I would be a lot more interested if he was writing the script himself. I wonder if there is a possibility that he might take the director’s chair? I thought I had heard that Burns was originally supposed to direct Side Effects before Soderbergh took over. Either way, I’m having a hard time envisioning a sequel that doesn’t just involve a newer, even more deadly strain of the virus. What do you think, could they do a Contagion sequel without simply repeating the first?