Feast your eyes, because Steven Soderbergh's thriller Side Effects has a new poster showcasing its all-star cast and a worrying-looking skull and crossbones. There's Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jude Law and Rooney Mara looking very alarmed, and Channing Tatum looking alarmed and a bit soulful at the same time. In that way of his.
A medical thriller that questions the ethics and efficacy of prescription medication, it's somewhere between In Treatment and The Fugitive in its exploration of psychiatry, big pharma and crime. In the Richard Kimble role is Jonathan Banks (Law), a go-ahead young shrink whose decision to prescribe a drug called Ablixa to an patient with an anxiety disorder (Mara) is linked to a murder.
In an interesting interview with The New York Magazine - one filled with no little angst at the current state of Hollywood - Soderbergh explained that his new thriller was of the unplanned variety and had its roots in '80s thrillers. "[It came together] because another film, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., blew up. I watched Fatal Attraction a lot. That’s a very well-directed movie. The eighties was a terrible decade for American films, with a few exceptions in the independent world. It’s basically when the corporations took over. And one of the few, to my mind, interesting aspects of the decade were these psychological thrillers that popped up."
Written by Soderbergh's old Contagion and The Informant! collaborator Scott Z. Burns and picking up strong word-of-mouth Stateside, Side Effects is one to keep an eye out for when it gets its UK release on March 8.