Contagion infects Toronto

Warner Bros. Canada takes a "viral" approach to marketing its newest sci-fi film.

Warner Bros. Pictures Canada has taken a literal approach in promoting its latest sci-fi flick, Contagion, making a science project out of two windows in Toronto.

The windows, which can be seen on Queen St. West until the end of the week, were created with Toronto-based Lowe Roche, with the help of UK scientist Dr. Patrick Hickey and his team of microbiologists from UK-based Curb Media. The street facing displays have been swabbed with penicillin, mold and pigmented bacteria, growing in the form of “art” around the name of the movie.

The film, Contagion, was directed by Academy Award winner Steven Soderbergh and follows an apocalyptic storyline in which human beings struggle to survive in a world infected by a deadly airborne virus.

The public installation emerged after a few days of mutation in the store window and was officially presented to Torontonians yesterday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. The first 50 people that arrived on-site were given tickets to see the film and t-shirts were also handed out to onlookers.

A stop-motion video clip has been uploaded to the Warner Bros. Canada website and Facebook page for viewers to observe the installation growing.

Additional events will be held throughout the city leading up to the launch of the film on Sept. 9, including an eight-foot-tall plastic bubble resembling a quarantine scene appearing at the Eaton Centre on Sept. 7. The movie trailer will play inside the bubble and a promo team will hand out screening passes every hour between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Tubes resembling decontamination chambers will also appear starting today at the intersections of Yonge and Eglinton, Yonge and Dundas and Yonge and Bloor in Toronto. Visitors can go through the tubes and be given promo materials for the film, according to a representative.