London Olympics: James Bond, Harry Potter and What to Expect from Danny Boyle's Opening Ceremony

London Olympics: James Bond, Harry Potter and What to Expect from Danny Boyle's Opening Ceremony

Jul 27, 2012

If you're anything like us, you tuned into NBC every night this week mumbling, "I thought the Olympics were starting ... or something. Where are they?" Well fear not channel-surfing messiah, the 2012 London Olympics are indeed starting this week, and that day has finally come. Yup, opening ceremonies begin tonight, with Danny Boyle's (Trainspotting, The Beach, Slumdog Millionaire) much talked-about extravaganza kicking things off. The ceremonies begin at 9 p.m. in the U.K., though folks in the U.S. won't be able to watch them until NBC broadcasts a tape-delayed version at 7 p.m. EST. 

Considering Boyle comes from the film world, we should expect a whole bunch of movie-related references to pop up during the opening ceremony (except don't expect reenactments from Trainspotting or Slumdog Millionaire, for obvious unsavory reasons), which comes with a budget reported to be somewhere in the area of $40 million. Here's what you movie buffs should expect to see:

Theme: "Isles of Wonder," inspired by William Shakespeare's The Tempest. Word has it the ceremony will span Britain's history, mixing real-life moments with those inspired by many of the most popular fictional characters who call Britain home.

007: James Bond himself, Daniel Craig, is said to be involved in the ceremony's opening moments. Craig will star in a pre-recorded message from Buckingham Palace alongside Queen Elizabeth II, followed by a Bond stuntman parachuting into Olympic Stadium. 

Lord Voldemort Returns: Word has it one elaborate set piece will include many of Britain's most popular literary characters all fighting a 40-foot tall Voldemort. Apparently those characters include a group of flying nannies inspired by Mary Poppins, as well as familiar faces from Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and, well, we wouldn't be surprised if Harry Potter himself makes an appearance at the end.

Music: You'll most likely hear the theme from Chariots of Fire at some point, as well as tunes from the Who, the Sex Pistols, the Beatles, and a finale including Paul McCartney belting out "Hey Jude."

Running Time: Boyle was forced to cut a stunt-bike sequence in order to keep the show under three hours, so expect it to run somewhere close to that. 

Who's Lighting the Olympic Cauldron?: This is one secret that hasn't leaked yet. Will it be a popular celebrity like David Beckham? Clearly David Beckham needs something to do here, right?  Will it be Prince Harry and William? We'll find out later tonight. 

More: Movie Games We'd Like to See in the Olympics

More: Criterion Corner: Who Would Win if Movies Competed in the Olympics?

[via AP]


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