Danny Boyle's China-Topping Olympic Opener Includes 70 Sheep

The Atlantic
Danny Boyle's China-Topping Olympic Opener Includes 70 Sheep
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Danny Boyle's China-Topping Olympic Opener Includes 70 Sheep

If China's aim was to show off its organization and power during its 2008 Olympic opening ceremony, the vibe British filmmaker Danny Boyle is going for this summer is almost the opposite: Pastoral serenity. But conveying that vibe by recreating the British countryside inside London's Olympic Stadium still requires a massive undertaking, including shipping in a countryside's worth of farm animals. For the pure livestock statistics, check out Vanity Fair's by-the-numbers rundown, in which Julie Miller details a menagerie that would rival any working farm: 70 sheep, 12 horses, 10 chickens, and... a mosh pit. Deadline Hollywood's Nancy Tartaglione, who supplied some of VF's stats, reports that "for the Tempest-inspired gala, the whole of the Olympic Stadium’s field of play will be transformed into the rolling British countryside. The set will include meadows, fields and rivers, and feature picnicking families, folks playing sports on village greens and farmers tilling the soil." Yes, Tempest-inspired. Boyle, who directed Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting, and other movies, "said the three-hour show was inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest, and would be about a land recovering from its industrial legacy," according to Variety's Steve Clarke. Maybe that's what the mosh pit is all about?