ContagionMovie02.11.11.jpgHundreds of actors and production crew members have been filming at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park today for a movie starring Matt Damon, Kate Winslet and Jude Law.

“Contagion,” an action-thriller about preventing the spread of a deadly virus, had its crew and hundreds of extras at Candlestick Park, according to witnesses.

People have also spotted the movie’s next filming location, the University of California, San Francisco’s Mission Bay campus.

Signs on campus buildings have been changed to reflect locations in the movie. The campus’s Genentech Hall, for example, has been changed to read “Mendel Hall.”

The film’s publicist would not comment on what “Mendel Hall” meant in the storyline, but a laboratory building at Villanova University in Pennsylvania has the same name.

Crews were filming in the city’s Civic Center Plaza on Friday.

Production assistants declined to comment on the scene they were filming.

“The public needs to take a giant step back,” a crewmember shouted on Friday. “We are using the entire square. I can see you behind that truck!”

About 2,000 local men and women of all sizes and ethnicities were cast in background roles for about 10 days of filming in San Francisco.

“The movie is all about an infectious disease, and Center for Disease Control doctors are trying to track down and isolate it,” said Rich King, who was in charge of casting the extras.

King said filming would be done in several parts of the city, including a coffee shop and a location near Chinatown.

The movie, based on medical novelist Dr. Robin Cook’s book of the same name, is tentatively planned for an October release and will also feature Gwyneth Paltrow and Laurence Fishburne.

The book focuses on a rare strain of influenza that strikes the young, the old and the innocent.

Filming has already taken place in Chicago, Atlanta and Hong Kong.

King said hired actors who are Screen Actors Guild members are being paid $139 daily for their work, and non-union members make $64 each day.

Photo from Civic Center shoot: Bay City News

Saul Sugarman, Bay City News

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