Steven Soderbergh [Solaris] will make Hong Kong his ground zero for his deadly virus film Contagion. According to THR, Soderbergh is gearing up to shoot in China's harbor city, but not without churning up some tortured memories.

The 2003 SARS epidemic that killed 774 people in a 9 month period began in the Guangdong province of China before spreading worldwide. Of course I'm sure that's not lost on Soderbergh.

Contagion stars Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Marion Cottilard and Matt Damon. Soderbergh has also cast Hong Kong native Josie Ho as the sister of "Patient Zero," who is the first to be affected. The snakebit role of "Zero" has yet to be cast. This talent roundup is actually holding its own against the A-list ensemble that inexplicably aligned for 1995's similarly themed Outbreak (Morgan Freeman, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Spacey). But Outbreak was just another mass-market suspense thriller from the 90's. If there's one thing about Soderbergh, it's that even when he plays kitsch, he does it his own way. Expect Contagion to have a topical power that we don't see coming. Soderbergh is also adding some more Asian talent in the form of actors Josie Ho and Chin HanHo is best known for the slasher film Dream House, while Han was seen in The Dark Knight as shady businessman/money manager Lau. Since the killer bug in the film starts with a Chinese patient (shades of World War Z there), we’re going to assume either one of them could be Patient Zero.

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