Once again, our friends at The Playlist have the inside scoop on a Steven Soderbergh film. Having previously been the go-to site for updated casting info on the filmmaker's current project, Knockout, they now bring first word on what will be his next effort: Contagion. The ensemble action-thriller, which is reportedly being called a "terrifying" cross between the Bourne movies and Soderbergh's own Traffic (with some obvious reference to Outbreak), involves interweaving stories set on four continents during the outbreak of a deadly virus.

Contagion will star now-regular Soderbergh lead Matt Damon along with Oscar-caliber thesps Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Marion Cotillard. The script was penned by Scott Z. Burns, who wrote Soderbergh's The Informant! and co-wrote The Bourne Ultimatum. According to an earlier posting by The Playlist, the idea for Contagion actually spawned from the scene in The Informant! when Damon's character rants about germs. It's possible this film will therefore treat the central virus metaphorically, as does Damon's speech. If the film does contain subtext commenting on the travel of information and misinformation, though, it would certainly bring about comparisons to Babel.

Soderbergh and his impressive cast are set to shoot Contagion later this year, once the director is finished with Knockout and has secured further financing to match that of co-producers Participant Media (The Informant!). It's then likely he'll return to the project that was supposed to be his next film, the Liberace biopic starring Michael Douglas and, again, Matt Damon. Given that Contagion will feature multiple narratives, I wonder if we'll hear of more casting additions in the future. If so, the news will likely come through The Playlist first. And we'll continue to bring updates on this exciting project whenever they do.