"Slumdog's" Boyle to direct 2012 Olympic ceremony

Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:41am EDT
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By Avril Ormsby

LONDON (Reuters) - Oscar-winning filmmaker Danny Boyle will direct the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, organizers said on Thursday, and he immediately promised a "thrilling welcome" for both athletes and the world.

Boyle, whose work includes "Shallow Grave," "Trainspotting" and the hugely successful "Slumdog Millionaire," acknowledged it may not be on the same scale as the last Games in Beijing, but he promised a "genuine and personal welcome."

British director and producer Stephen Daldry, who has been involved with "Billy Elliot," "The Hours" and "The Reader," will be part of a four-man team which will oversee the opening and closing ceremonies for both the Olympic and Paralympics.

They will work within a total budget of 40 million pounds, which will come out of the overall 2 billion pound budget of Locog, the organization responsible for staging the Games.

A global TV audience of 1 billion people watched Beijing's spectacular opening ceremony in 2008, which set the benchmark against previous ceremonies often deemed woeful and cheesy.

"You have got to acknowledge that it is not going to be like Beijing in terms of this overwhelming, intimidating scale," Boyle told reporters.

"It will be more modest than that. But our job is to make sure that within those means it is spectacular and delivers a thrilling welcoming to the opening of the Games."

There were few hints about what would be included, except that the lighting of the Olympic torch was central to their thinking, and "zombies would not be running around on stage."   Continued...

<p>Director Danny Boyle arrives at the 62nd Annual Directors Guild of America Awards in Los Angeles January 30, 2010. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok</p>