Chris Evans as Dr. Jacob Gunslinger
Issa Rae as Rachel Tupelo
Jon Hamm as John F. Kennedy Jr.
Alexander Skarsgård as President Eric Lundergaard
Lance Reddick as Zeus
Bryan Tyree Henry as Dr. Michael Winslow
Kyle Mooney as The Strange Man
and Dr. Anthony Fauci as Himself
Estimated Budget: $116,000,000
Estimated Box Office: $480,000,000 (Domestic), $95,000,000 (International)
Dr. Jacob Gunslinger (Chris Evans) never exactly played by his own rules. While others at Columbia med school in NYC spent their time networking with hospital big wigs and attempting to climb the corporate ladder, Jacob only cared about the work… to an unhealthy degree. His addiction to work manifested itself in other ways – like booze, which he was also addicted to. Eventually, through sheer willpower and the love of his girlfriend, Rachel (Issa Rae), Jacob was able to defeat his alcohol addiction. The compulsion to work around the clock, however, was here to stay.
The other docs in med-school presented their dissertations on the most interesting, attention grabbing topics they could come up with. Jacob saw the world in a different way. He wasn’t about grabbing headlines, he was about solving the world’s most pressing issues… Which is why when he presented his dissertation on the threat of a deadly pandemic disease hitting the United States in the next 10 years, no one was quite sure what to make of it.
Gunslinger became an expert on pandemics – firm in his belief that one day soon, a virus would spread across the globe that could bring the world to its knees. He developed a reputation throughout the country as something of a “doomsday kook” (they called him Dr. Panic-demic) behind his back). The cable news shows began to have him on their nightly broadcasts to make fun of his views, which seemed downright crazy to Joe and Judy America watching at home.
Even so, no one could deny his intelligence. Gunslinger’s best friend, Dr. Michael Winslow (Bryan Tyree Henry), has played the game the right way and landed a Chief Residency position at Mount Sinai hospital – one of the best in the country. He has begged Gunslinger to give up the virus work and come treat patients at Mount Sinai where Winslow could secure his friend a cushy position. But Jacob refused all offers.
In early 2018, Dr. Jacob Gunslinger reviews his data and realizes that this is it. The big one is coming. An airborne disease, likely launched at a foreign wet market, spread throughout the world by infected bats. Gunslinger knows his data is true – and he sounds the alarm by booking time on every national cable news show that will have him. He is a nightly presence on the airwaves, warning Americans that they need to prepare for the virus’ impending arrival. He goes so far as to stake his entire reputation on the prediction that the entire country will be infected by the end of 2018. The country mostly laughs at Gunslinger – but many also shift nervously on their couches.
On January 1st, 2019, Dr. Jacob Gunslinger realizes he was wrong. There’s no sign of a pandemic. His data was faulty. His data is never faulty. But somehow it was. He has a blowup fight with his girlfriend. He goes to Central Park, sits down on a park bench, and has his first drink in 5 years. In the sky, he notices a bat swooping low over the park. Curious…
Cut to 1 year later. January 1st, 2020. Jacob is a mess. We find him face down in a filthy apartment. Alone. Drunk. Totally off the wagon, in fact. He’s been mocked and discredited throughout the country. On TV, he sees Rachel, his now ex-girlfriend, speaking in her capacity as Press Secretary to United States President Eric Lundergaard (Alexander Skarsgård). He turns off the TV just as Rachel begins explaining that for the first time, a virus called COVID-19 has reached American shores…
COVID-19 starts spreading throughout the world. The deaths start piling up. The world goes on high alert and is eventually locked down. And suddenly, people begin to remember the one guy who predicted this was coming… even if he was off by a year.
Deep into a self-destructive vodka binge, Jacob finds Rachel at his door. She tells him the president wants to see him. He’s the only one who can help. Jacob has one question: “Are you still dating that doofus?” “The president’s chief of staff, you mean? He’s not so bad,” she says. “He took away pensions from war heroes,” Jacob fires back. Rachel sighs, but has to stifle a smile… beneath the crackling dialogue, is this chemistry we’re sensing?
Reluctantly, Gunslinger goes to see President Lundergaard who tells him the pandemic is going to keep spreading. But that’s not all. They know now that the virus was actually created and spread throughout the world by a nefarious organization called Citizens Of Various Ideological Dispositions (COVID). They were the same group who tried to create chaos in the world with the Y2K bug. Their goal is to disrupt the entire world so they can take over. They failed last time. This time, they’re doing better. Much better. Their leader has been hiding in the shadows for decades, biding his time. He’s older now. But he’s wiser… He is John F. Kennedy Jr. (Jon Hamm), alive and well after all.
And so the President tasks Dr. Gunslinger with finding a cure for the virus. To do this, he’ll have to enter in the pandemic epicenter – Times Square, New York City, alongside Rachel (so she can report back to the president), to retrieve the missing data that could solve the equation needed for a vaccine. But along the way he’ll battle demons: his alcoholism, his failed relationship with the white house press secretary, and most dauntingly, the shadow soldiers of the COVID Society – who lurk around every street corner, disguised among the masses, ready to take down anyone who threatens to defeat the virus before the virus defeats the world…
COVID-19 is a movie idea filled with twists and turns that will leave you so slack-jawed, you’ll need two masks to cover your mouth. This terrifying thriller will have you on the edge of your seat as Dr. Jacob Gunslinger dives into the New York City warzone alongside his former (and future?) girlfriend to battle the pandemic and the evil society that let it loose. As he searches for the only thing that matters – a vaccine for the virus – Gunslinger will have to consider if the cost of his soul is a fair price. COVID-19 is a movie idea for the terrible times we live in – one that will have you running to the doctor afterwards (for your heart palpitations, not because you have Covid)!
Exclusive Scene from the Script: