''Virus'' has trouble getting to its destination -- The film's reel gets quarantined at the airport because of its label

By Ron Magid
Updated December 04, 1998 at 05:00 AM EST

Time: A November weekend. Place: A jumbo jet en route from Canada to L.A. Scene: On board is a working print of the upcoming Universal thriller Virus (starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Sutherland), being sent from Toronto’s Deluxe Laboratories to the L.A. offices of director John Bruno. Its label reads, ”Virus — OK Bud Smith #1,” indicating coproducer Bud Smith has signed off on the reels. But when the plane lands, the print has vanished. The mystery unraveled: ”When the U.S. Customs officers saw Virus on the box,” says Smith, ”they [suspected hazardous material] and called in the FDA!” The print turned up in Memphis — the jet’s first U.S. port of call — where Smith found it in quarantine. From now on, he says, ”we’ll have to label the boxes ‘The Movie — Virus.”’

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