The first trailer for Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion is similar to the 1995 virus-centric movie, Outbreak. Both are star-studded affairs and share the plot of a worldwide biological threat – but they may be even more similar than you think. We’ve thrown together a trailer mashup showcasing footage from Outbreak set to the trailer audio of Contagion to highlight the close ties between the two films.

On the surface, the similarities are obvious – both involve a deadly virus spreading uncontrollably across the globe, impacting the world and inducing fear. The government has a major role in the threat, as well as the solution, and of course there are central characters who drive the story. Look closely and you’ll notice some of the characters in the two films almost seem identical.

Either way, the Contagion trailer is action-packed and intense. If you go back to the mid-90s and watch the trailer for Outbreak it brings some energy, but it is not nearly as well-done as this first Contagion trailer. The biggest plot difference between the two seems to be that Contagion focuses on the global scale instead of honing in on one town.

But enough talk – check it out for yourself and let us know if you’re seeing double as well.

It’s strange to see Laurence Fishburne with a mustache in a very similar role to Morgan Freeman and his mustache in Outbreak. In addition, the blonde wife (ex-wife in Outbreak) contracting the virus and stuck in a hospital bed carries over through both of these. There are other faint similarities, but those two are the most obvious. Of course, every movie seems to be a version of something else these days – and Soderbergh may very well have been influenced by Outbreak – but Contagion comes to the big screen at a time when what sparks mass fear has evolved drastically since the mid-90s.

Now that you’ve seen the mashup, compare the two trailers for yourself right here:

Outbreak

Contagion

What do you think?

Contagion will be in theaters on September 9, 2011