Olympics fans, we're not in Beijing anymore.
Danny Boyle, the visionary filmmaker at the helm of next month's Opening Ceremony, announced Tuesday that the event will open with 70 sheep, 12 horses, 10 chickens, nine geese, three cows, three sheep dogs, two goats and a plow in an attempt to recreate the British countryside on the world's biggest stage. What, no partridge in a pear tree?
The first segment of the $41 million ceremony will be entitled "Green and Pleasant." More than 10,000 volunteers, who have already rehearsed 157 times, will take part in the event. A full dress rehearsal in front of 80,000 people will be run in the days before the Games.
The director of "Trainspotting" and "Slumdog Millionaire" revealed other plans for the ceremony, including mosh pits (representing a music festival in Glastonbury), music from the electronic music duo Underworld (they worked on Boyle's breakout film) and rainmaking machines (for obvious reasons). Also included: the world's largest harmonic bell, which was just installed at Olympic Stadium.
Bells rang throughout Europe when World War II ended. Boyle said he hopes this bell will bring a similar peace. It will ring at the beginning and end of the three-hour ceremony on July 27.
"It is not an easy challenge to get the Opening Ceremony right, how can you present something that feels decent and people recognize as being truthful, but yet is a celebration," Boyle said in a press conference.
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- Danny Boyle