Jude Law says experts on Contagion knew a pandemic was coming (Picture: Rex)
Jude Law has said experts warned him of an imminent pandemic while filming 2011 film Contagion.
The Steven Soderbergh movie, which depicted a deadly virus, has been back on the radar in a big way in 2020, as Covid-19 took hold of the globe and many have felt the film bore numerous scientific comparisons to how it was believed coronavirus originated.
In Contagion, the MEV-1 virus was passed from animals to humans, after a bat dropped a piece of fruit it was eating, that was eaten by a pig, transferring a virus from the bat that then mutates with a virus in the pig. A chef is then seen preparing the infected pig, putting his hands in its mouth, before shaking Beth Emhoff’s (Gwyneth Paltrow) hand without washing his hand, and the virus transfers to her as patient zero.
Reflecting on the movie (which was actually inspired by the outbreak of Sars back in 2002 and the Swine Flu pandemic back in 2009) this week, Jude, who played conspiracy theorist Alan Krumweide, has said experts hired to consult on the film at the time warned a similar international crisis was destined to happen.
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Speaking to GQ this week on the film, he said: ‘There was absolutely the sense this was going to happen. The great scientists on set with us, who had worked with Scott Burns, the writer, and Steven were very learned and experienced individuals who knew what to expect.
‘They all said to us that this was going to happen, and it was a case of when rather than if.’
Jude went on: ‘The way they described it, which is exactly as it has happened, just made sense. It’s why, they painted out all the obvious areas and reasons why it spread so quickly.’
The actor said the intel shared by the experts on the set sat with him for some time after, but it wasn’t until 2020 rolled around the coronavirus soon started to spread from Wuhan in China that it ‘rang alarm bells’.
He said: ‘What’s scary is you learn on a set on a film like that because you’re being advised by experts, but it doesn’t necessarily sit.
Jude plays a conspiracy theorist (Picture: Warner Bros/Kobal/REX)
‘That was 10 years ago, maybe nine, so I’d say that sat in my system, scared the hell out of me for all of 18 months, and after that I don’t think I was aware of it as I was when I came off the back of it.
‘But when 2020 started and we heard about what was initially happening in China and what fast became apparent around the world, it rang alarm bells. Unfortunately, I wasn’t hugely surprised.’
Experts have since said the final five minutes of Contagion are ‘crucial’ in illustrating just how devastating man-made actions can cause pandemics.
Contagion’s final scene shows day one of the virus. Bulldozers are heard cutting down trees that are a habitat for bats, those bats move on eating and excreting fruit and dropping it into a pig pen, and, well, we’ve already gone on about what happened next above.
Dr Tracey McNamara, a veterinary pathologist, had worked on the movie during its beginning stages and previously told Metro.co.uk: ‘Leave the bats alone, let them stay in the trees. A lot of this is related to human activity, cutting down habitats, no buffers between humans coming into contact with wildlife.
‘When people say it’s impossible, we can’t deal with these one health solutions, that’s not true. Everything we do has a ripple effect, everything we do in the environment has a ripple effect.
‘We need to do everything we can do our end to take serious steps to try and prevent future outbreaks like this. If we would just leave things along, then maybe these things would not happen.’
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