A few days ago, the trailer for Steven Soderbergh’s latest film, a thriller entitled Contagion, was released around the world, and immediately a certain amount of buzz began to build. It wasn’t over the storyline about a global pandemic quickly growing out of control, or the stellar cast that includes Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Jude Law, and Laurence Fishburne. No, within a few short hours of its release, the web was working overtime to lambast the decision to reveal one of the movie’s major plot points. In case you haven’t heard, we will put up the traditional SPOILER warning, but since this fact is also the main focus of this piece, it seems rather moot. Toward the tail end of the preview, as things are growing more and more desperate, Damon learns that his wife, played by Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow, has died from the disease.
Shock! Horror! A major star actually succumbs to the main plot point. While we don’t know the particulars, including when exactly this happens in the narrative and whether or not Damon is actually being told the truth (could be one of those ‘secreted away for experimentation’ ruses), many in Messageboard Nation couldn’t believe that a major motion picture selling itself on subject matter and star power would eighty-six one of its important leads in such a pre-release manner. After all, all the Gwyneth fans out there are probably fuming that their favorite is predestined to buy the farm - remember, at least from the trailer’s viewpoint - while others in the cast are going to live (again, supposedly).