By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com July 21, 2011 at 1:05AM
When you have big names like Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Laurence Fishburne, plus acclaimed figures like Emmy-winner Bryan Cranston and Oscar-nominee John Hawkes in your film, most studios would plaster their faces all over the one-sheet. Warner Bros has, as yet, not taken that approach with "Contagion" (though we're sure its coming), the latest film from Steven Soderbergh, a dark, realistic look at the global spread of a bird-flu-like virus.
Instead, the teaser poster has tried something a little different, although we're not sure how successfully. Partly made up to look like some kind of biohazard notice, with a list of some of the globetrotting film's locations -- Macau, Hong Kong, London, Atlanta, San Francisco, Chicago, Paris, Tokyo, Geneva -- which add up to spell the film's title, it rather falls between two stools, and Soderbergh's name can only be seen in the credit block (though to be fair, outside of cinefile heads, his name isn't exactly Spielberg when it comes to mainstream audience recognition). However, as a tease it's certainly compelling and unique enough to draw a second look in the multiplex lobby and we're sure a more standard, star-studded version will be around the corner once the marketing campaign kicks into high gear.
The trailer that hit last week certainly looks as promising as you might expect from a film that reunites the writer and director of "The Informant," with a cast as high-caliber as Cotillard, Damon, Fishburne, Law, Paltrow, Winslet, Hawkes and Cranston with Jennifer Ehle, Sanaa Lathan, Josie Ho, Elliot Gould and Demetri Martin rounding things out. The early word we've heard on the film has been very good with a reader who attended an early screening telling us "that audience members gasped at certain points during the film and that it left you wanting to reach for some hand-sanitizer." We certainly can't wait.
The film bows on September 9th (with a premiere at Venice or Telluride likely) and in case you forgot, it's not the only movie Soderbergh has on the horizon and he hits Comic-Con this week to get the word out on "Haywire." Full poster below. [IMP Awards]