Christopher Nolan’s star-studded film ‘Oppenheimer’ on UC Berkeley campus

UC Berkeley was buzzing Friday afternoon as a wedding, department graduations and a massive Hollywood production unfolded simultaneously on campus.

The filming of Christopher Nolan’s film “Oppenheimer” occupied the heart of campus. The biopic, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning “American Prometheus”, details the life of physicist Robert Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer taught at UC Berkeley from 1929 to 1943 – his office was on the third floor of LeConte Hall – before leaving for Los Alamos in New Mexico, where he helped the US government develop the atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan project.

The film stars Nolan’s favorite Cillian Murphy in the lead role, Emily Blunt as Kitty Oppenheimer, Robert Downey Jr. as Lewis Strauss, Florence Pugh as Jean Tatlock and Matt Damon as Leslie Groves.

On Friday, dozens of vehicles trucked in extras and decor, including an incredible amount of potted plants and trees to cover modern additions like bike racks and disabled parking signs. Crews also placed wooden shelters over Cal’s large immovable trash cans and recycling bins. Extras dressed in World War II costumes reclining in the shade near the Valley Life Sciences Building; the men in army uniform attracted the particular looks of passers-by.

Extras sit outside the Valley Life Sciences Building as they wait for the Christopher Nolan film “Oppenheimer” to shoot on the UC Berkeley campus on May 20, 2022.

Katie Dowd/SFGATE

Wooden sheds were brought in to cover UC Berkeley's trash cans during the filming of

Wooden sheds were brought in to cover UC Berkeley’s trash cans during the filming of “Oppenheimer” on May 20, 2022.

Katie Dowd/SFGATE

Filming took place primarily on Campanile Way, the road leading to Campanile and Oppenheimer’s former playground at LeConte Hall. Murphy was seen shooting outside Wheeler Hall and the Main Library, which was outfitted with new lampposts for the occasion.

By late afternoon, filming was complete, and on Saturday morning, crews were packing up the many plants left strewn across campus.

“Oppenheimer” is set to hit theaters in 2023.

Actor Cillian Murphy is seen on the set of "Oppenheimer" as J. Robert Oppenheimer on April 13, 2022 in Princeton, New Jersey.

Actor Cillian Murphy is seen on the set of ‘Oppenheimer’ as J. Robert Oppenheimer on April 13, 2022 in Princeton, New Jersey.

Bobby Bank/GC Images

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