The Olympics Opening Ceremonies Are Going To Be Nuts

Chances are, if you have access to a TV and are into large-scale international sporting events, your memories of the 2008 Olympics Opening Ceremonies in Beijing are probably still pretty vivid. The thousands of drummers working in unison, the Birds’ Nest, the insane levels of pageantry. The 2012 Games begin in London on July 27th, and the world will have its eyes on Opening Ceremonies Director, filmmaker Danny Boyle and ceremony overseer and fellow filmmaker Stephen Daldry, to see if they can top that madness.

And it appears they might, or at least they sure are going to try. Boyle revealed the plan for the ceremony earlier this week, and despite warnings not to work with kids or animals, they’re doing both in an elaborate recreation of the English Countryside (complete with real rain from real clouds, because nothing says Great Britain like a whole lot of rain) called “Isles of Wonder,” a reference to Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Among the damage, according to The Guardian: “A village cricket team, 12 horses, 10 chickens, 70 sheep, a model of Glastonbury Tor, two mosh pits and the largest harmonically tuned bell in the world.” As the massive musical bacchanal known as Glastonbury won’t be taking place this year, Boyle is attempting to recreate the rock-fest feel with the aforementioned mosh pits and some high-end speculated musical guests.

In addition to Sir Paul McCartney, The Who, Take That and other UK music heavy-hitters rumored to perform, late last year, dance group Underworld were named as the Directors of Music for the opening ceremonies and have recorded at least two new tracks for the occasion. Many readers, from the British Isles or not, will remember the last time Underworld and Danny Boyle met—their hit single “Born Slippy” was one of the most memorable jams from Trainspotting, Boyle’s film based on the novel by Irvine Welsh.

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