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Does Danny Boyle Dream of Electric Sheep? Watch the London Olympics Opening Ceremony to Find Out


The 'Slumdog Millionaire' director says he plans a 'surreal mix' of 70 sheep, other live animals, and a parade of nurses during the opening to the games

Image "Electric Sheep" courtesy of Infidelic on Flickr

Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle has shown us Ewan McGregor swimming in a filthy toilet, a guy sawing through his own arm, as well as super-fast zombies ready to devour you. So why not invite him to direct the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics? Titled "Isles of Wonder," based on a speech by Caliban in Shakespeare's The Tempest, it certainly sounds kooky.

Since we heard that news that Boyle was at the helm, we've wondered what the warped man might be concocting. Now we have some hints. Reports say that the $126 million budgeted for the spectacle will help fund that "cast of thousands of people and live animals, including 12 horses, 10 chickens, nine geese, and 70 sheep." Oh and don't forget the real grass, real plows, and real soil. It's getting real agro in here!

If that doesn't sound outlandish, then maybe the fact that each of the four nations in the United Kingdom will be represented by their national flower: the rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the daffodil of Wales, and flax from Northern Ireland. Huh? We're thinking that may be abstracted in some way?

And is Boyle joshing when he claims that there will be real clouds that would supply "rain" if there is none on the night in order to ensure an authentically British atmosphere? Is he creating a simulacra of the Great Britain that we all imagine from a few hundred years ago? Check out the photo, of a cute little rustic hamlet, that was handed out if you don't think so.

"The ceremony is an attempt to capture a picture of ourselves as a nation, where we have come from and where we want to be," Boyle told the press today. "The best part of telling that story has been working with our 10,000 volunteers."

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Adam Rathe