On location at CERN

CERN continues to be a very popular candidate for film locations at the moment. Not only has it inspired a German author and a film-maker interested in the more exotic interpretations of the science being worked on at the Organization, but even the recent puppet animation film by the legendary Muppets featured some CERN scenes.


Dr Bunsen Honeydew (far left) and his friends at ATLAS. Beaker, Bunsen's assistant, has just been sucked up the vacuum tube top left... Image courtesy Walt Disney Studios.

In “The Muppet Movie”, released in November 2011 in North America and world-wide in January and February this year, Kermit is reuniting his friends who have ended up in some far-flung places since they last worked together 10 years ago. CERN caught the imagination of the film-makers as the perfect place for the Muppet scientists, Dr. Honeydew Bunsen and his hapless assistant Beaker. After a brief scene filmed in front of a backdrop of the ATLAS detector, the rest of the film carries on in true Muppet style back in LA where the gang are trying to rescue the famous Muppet theatre from destruction by property developers.

Schilf” is the name of both a best-selling book by Juli Zeh, and a film released in Germany on 8 March which is more closely inspired by the science at CERN. Indeed, one of the main characters, one Prof. Hoyer, works at the Organisation and is visited by a physics professor friend whose belief in a “many worlds theory”, based on the idea of parallel universes, seems to be coming true in a very disturbing way. The film crew was on site at CERN for several days, filming day and night to give the movie an authentic CERN look.

So there we have it: further proof of how CERN is catching the popular imagination. “We get so many TV, film, cinema and documentary requests these days, we can’t quite keep up!” says Renilde Vanden Broeck from the CERN Press Office.

by Joannah Caborn Wengler