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Home > iSGTW - 18 February 2009 > iSGTW Link of the Week - Hollywood comes to CERN


Link of the Week - Hollywood comes to CERN 


At the press event at CERN for Angels&Demons, left to right: stars of the film, Tom Hanks and Ayelet Zurer, with the director, Ron Howard. Image courtesy of CERN Press Office.

On 12 February, CERN saw stars.

Stars from Hollywood, that is.

Actors Tom Hanks, Ayelet Zurer and director Ron Howard visited the grounds, posed in front of "the dome," and later unveiled some footage from their upcoming film version of Dan Brown's fictional book, Angels & Demons. (The movie is set for release on 15 May 2009.)

When Sony Pictures first contacted CERN early in 2007 about filming part of Angels & Demons there, the laboratory quickly saw an opportunity and was excited to participate. While most of the film was shot in Rome, the opening sequence includes images inside the tunnel housing CERN's Large Hadron Collider, which was shot before the tunnel was sealed to begin experiments.

In the story, a secret society tries to annihilate the Vatican with antimatter stolen from the lab on the Swiss-French border. (And CERN's director has a private X-33 space plane in an underground hangar.)

According to the Reuters news-service, "CERN spokesman James Gillies said that while director Ron Howard 'tried to get the science as right as is possible in the film,' some aspects of the fictional plot are unavoidably fantastical. 'The basic problem is the concept of antimatter,' he said. 'You cannot make that much.' "

For his part, director Ron Howard said: "The scientists here have been incredibly helpful in explaining the science to us, and giving us access to some incredible places. I think what they're doing here is fantastic."

For FAQs about matter, anti-matter, space planes, and other things related to where reality ends and fantasy begins, see the Fact-or-Fiction page that CERN created some years ago about the book. 

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