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updated: 11/30/2010 10:20 PM

Damon, Paltrow in Elgin for 'Contagion' shoot

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Hollywood brass the likes of Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow could be in Elgin as soon as Friday for the shooting of "Contagion."

The movie crew will be setting up shop at the old Sherman Hospital, 934 Center St., and will be filming for three days, said Sherman spokeswoman Chris Priester.

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The film schedule hasn't been confirmed, but if the 200-person crew does begin its work in Elgin Friday, filming would continue there on Monday and Tuesday, Priester said.

Damon and Paltrow, who play a couple from Minnesota, are both expected to be on site, said Spooky Stevens, the film's spokeswoman.

The movie, directed by Steven Soderbergh, also stars Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne and Marion Cotillard. It is expected to be released next fall.

Damon has already been spotted in Glencoe, where the film has been shooting this week. Scenes also have been filmed at a Wilmette school.

Soon after Sherman Hospital relocated to a new facility on Elgin's west side last year, officials from Warner Bros. asked about filming at the old facility on the east side.

"The appeal was, 'We don't have to work around patients,'" Priester said. "It's odd to have a newly closed hospital to have pretty much free rein in."

Indeed, the old hospital may be the ideal spot to shoot the film, which is about a deadly virus that spreads around the world.

Between 10 and 20 people are currently preparing the inside of the building for filming. Some four to seven areas of the building will be used, including the critical care, surgery and emergency room areas, Priester said.

A Sherman immediate care center that remains at the old building will still be open during the film shoot, Priester said. Most of the scenes will be shot indoors, but at least one will be outdoors that will require a nearby street to be shut down, Priester said.

The crew typically will spend 12 to 14 hours on site every day, Priester said.

The site will be a closed set, though that probably won't stop onlookers from coming.

"We don't want a crowd at all. We want them to come to the movie. We know for people it's exciting and a holiday, but for us it's a workday," Stevens said.

Plans to film behind Yorkville High School have been canceled, Stevens said.

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