Since the World Health Organisation (WHO)
named SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.529 omicron, social media has gone berserk. When
the world is concerned about the emergence of the new variant, a movie poster
titled “The Omicron Variant” has gone viral on social media. The tagline to the
poster says, “The day the Earth was turned into a cemetery”. It has repeatedly
been said that the movie was released in 1963.

Also Read: What is Omicron?

The poster yet again added fuel to conspiracy theories that the pandemic is no accident; it was planned.

However, a fact check by India Today Anti
Fake News War Room (AFWA) has found that the viral poster was edited to replace
the title of a 1974 film “Phase IV” with “The Omicron Variant”. Becky Cheatle,
an Irish director and writer, had given birth to this myth. In reality, there
is no movie with the name “The Omicron Variant”.

Also Read: Omicron: Bengaluru doctor fears local transmission in two positive cases

In a tweet, posted on December 1, 2021,
Cheatle clarified that she has created the viral poster using Photoshop. She
also requested people not to take her “joke” seriously.

Using reverse search, the original version
of the viral poster was found on a Spanish website where it is sold for 1,200

The title of the film is written in Spanish
as “SUCESOS EN LA IV FASE”, and not “The Omicron Variant”. As per the
description, it shows the poster of a movie called “Phase IV”.

Also Read: WHO classifies new Covid strain, renamed Omicron, as ‘variant of concern’

As described on IMDb, the film is about
“Desert ants suddenly form a collective intelligence and begin to wage war on
the inhabitants. It is up to two scientists and a stray girl they rescue from
the ants to destroy them.”

with omicron in title

But there are indeed movies with omicron in
the title. One is called “Omicron” which was released in 1963, while the other
is a 2013 movie called “The Visitor from Planet Omicron”. But none of the
movies is related to any pandemic. Therefore, the viral poster has no connection
with coronavirus variant omicron, which was first detected in the South African
city of Pretoria.