Danny Boyle’s 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony to Be Inspired by Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST

     January 27, 2012

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The 2012 Olympics are coming down the pike with English director Danny Boyle (28 Days Later) serving as creative director of the opening ceremonies in London. Because once you’ve shut the city down and maestro-ed a mob of rabid pseudo-zombies through its streets, a bunch of athletes waving flags or whatever is child’s play.

Speaking to the press today, Boyle unveiled that his plans for the commencement would be heavily inspired by The Tempest, an announcement that was met with considerable belligerence and numerous faintings amongst the assembled mob, until the Oscar-winner clarified that he did not mean the 2010 Julie Taymor film. Rather, the £27-million opener (dubbed “Isles of Wonder”) will channel the classic Shakespearean play, specifically the character Caliban’s opening speech. Hit the jump for more from Boyle on what to expect on the big day.

sunshine_movie_image_danny_boyleBoyle told The Telegraph:

“Caliban’s speech…which is one of the most beautiful speeches in Shakespeare, is about the wondrous beauty of the island and in this case Caliban’s deep, personal devotion and affection for it and that was something we all felt going into the show and wanted to reflect.”

Furthermore, as he told THR, this opener won’t embody the epic, awe-inspiring drum-beating thing that kicked off the Beijing games in 2010:

“You are standing on the shoulders of giants when you do this kind of job. You can not but live in the shadow of your predecessors. The spectacle of Beijing was just breathtaking. The sheer beauty of Athens is very inspiring but I have to say that Sydney has inspired us. It got the feel of a people’s Games right.”

Boyle also cited budgetary reasons for the smaller scale, but refused to lend credence to the theory espoused by Michael Sheen’s Wesley Snipes character on 30 Rock: “We’re not ready Liz. We don’t have that kind of control over our people!”

Boyle and co-director Stephen Daldry (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) also apparently plan to continue their Tempest theme throughout the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.  It’ll be particularly fitting for the closing ceremonies, as The Tempest is sometimes described as a tragi-comedy, a blend of concepts certain to characterize the Brits’ pitiful podium presence after we totally wipe the floor with them. USA! USA! USA!

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