Danny Boyle

The artistic director of the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony is promising to transform the Olympic Stadium into a British meadow on July 27th. Danny Boyle says the festivities will include fields, cows, ducks, horses and a game of village cricket. During a briefing in the British capital, Boyle said, “this land 200 years ago was a meadow and it went through an extraordinary transformation and obviously one of the delights of the (Olympic) legacy, if you like, will be handing back a park to London really and east London especially.”

The 55-year-old Boyle won an Academy award as Best Director for his 2008 film, Slumdog Millionaire. He says the opening ceremony is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. London time and go about three hours, which, if you’re keeping score, is about one hour longer than the running time of Slumdog Millionaire. However, Boyle admits it will be difficult to keep the festivities on schedule, especially with a procession of about 10,500 athletes from all over the world.

Boyle says the athletes will walk around the meadow and the British electronic group Underworld will provide music. He says he wants to make the ceremony a spectacle for the crowd in the Olympic Stadium as well as for the huge international television audience, which is

London's Olympic Stadium

expected to top one billion people.

The $42 million ceremony will also include 10,000 adult volunteers and 13,000 props. Explaining why he was revealing details of the extravaganza, titled “Isles of Wonder,” Boyle said: “You tend to try and keep these things secret and people think in terms of secrets. And of course part of the modern world means that you can’t really do that. All of the volunteers have phones and they all take pictures of things and we’ve asked them not to tweet them and send them around the world. But with so many thousands of people, not just the volunteers, but the crew and everything, it’s impossible to keep secrets.”