Skip to main content

Podcast: Screenwriter Scott Z. Burns on Contagion

As producer of the Oscar®-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth and writer-director of the acclaimed HBO drama Pu-239, Burns has a reputation for deftly handling tales of panic, both personal and widespread. It's a testament to those skills that Contagion, opening September 9, feels fresh, though we've been scared by germs before.
Matt Damon in Contagion.

Matt Damon in Contagion

Screenwriter Scott Burns.

Screenwriter Scott Z. Burns

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.

Podcast highlights:

  • "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."

Click below to listen:

Podcast Powered By Podbean