TV viewers were left conflicted on Thursday night when they tuned into ITV2 to see Contagion was being shown.
The 2011 movie from director Steven Soderbergh tells the story of a new virus – the fictional MEV-1 pathogen – breaking out around the world – just like the current COVID-19 epidemic.
With the frightening coronavirus pandemic continuing to worsen worldwide some TV viewers were left with a bad taste in their mouth over ITV deciding to air the film.
A number of movie fans blasted the TV channel for airing the thriller with some questioning if the network thought it was satire and others simply could not believe TV bosses allowed it to be shown.
One shocked watcher asked on Twitter : “Does ITV 2 really need to be screening “Contagion” …???? #notappropriate”
More surprised people added: “They really putting contagion on itv2 tonight?… REALLY?!?!” and “Is it ITV2’s idea of satire to show Contagion at 9 pm?”
A flabbergasted viewer added: “OMG film on ITV 4 ….. CONTAGION !!Jesus are they having a laugh.”
Opposing viewers hailed the choice as ‘genius’ for hitting home the message that citizens need to abide to the social distancing and isolation rules put in place.
They praised ITV for showing the horror film – as they hope it will scare viewers into abiding to the lockdown rules set in place to combat the coronavirus.
One penned: “ITV2 are evil geniuses. People are still not practicing social distancing so they are gonna scare the sh*t out of the general population and make them listen! #Contagion.”
A third jibbed: “Maybe the idiots who won’t stay inside will watch #Contagion and suddenly GET IT. Maybe this was a genius move for ITV.”
“Haha #Contagion is on T.V. Genius! Great film, maybe it’ll show people that they do need to isolate and stay indoors. Life is imitating film,” echoed another in agreement.
Contagion was inspired by the 2002-2004 SARS outbreak and the 2009 swine flu pandemic, with screenwriter Scott Z. Burns consulting the World Health Organization (WHO) and a variety of health experts when writing the script.
In Contagion, Oscar winner Marion Cotillard portrays a WHO epidemiologist named Dr Leonora Orantes, who seeks to discover when the virus originated, while Matt Damon plays everyman Mitch Emhoff, whose wife Beth ( Gwyneth Paltrow ) becomes one of the first patients to contract the deadly virus.
The film also stars Jude Law as a conspiracy theorist sharing false information about the virus, Kate Winslet as a Epidemic Intelligence Officer named Dr Erin Mears, along with Laurence Fishburne as a fellow doctor treating patients.
The plot follows multiple storylines across the planet as the virus’ effects and the socio-economic impact set in, as authorities and scientists race to create a vaccine and save as many lives as possible.
After the release of the film nine-years-ago, it has been praised amongst the science community since its release for its scientific accuracy.
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