Danny Boyle to Helm London Olympics Ceremony?

H S Rao and Prasun Sonwalkar/London
Danny Boyle to Helm London Olympics Ceremony?
He had won an Oscar and raked in millions with his Mumbai potboiler 'Slumdog Millionaire' and British filmmaker Danny Boyle has now been approached to direct the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, which he says will be a contrast to the spectacle put up by China.

Boyle whose film captured the heat, dust and the underbelly of Mumbai city, won plaudits for his visual imagery and the organisers believe that he is the perfect choice to helm the high-profile event which will be telecast around the world, reported The Sunday Times.

The opening ceremony on July 27, 2012 will inevitably be compared with the spectacular Beijing event in 2008, which cost more than USD 100 million and involved 22,000 performers.

The four-hour ceremony masterminded by Zhang Yimou, director of 'House of Flying Daggers', featured 43,000 fireworks, flying acrobats and a 16-tonne globe rising from the ground.

Boyle, known for his school of off-beat cinema, has been asked to portray Britain as an open, diverse society in the ceremony that will have a live audience of about 80,000 and will be seen by billions around the world on television.

The 53-year-old who lives near the site of the Games in east London, is understood to be the preferred candidate of the Olympics organisers who will make their final choice over the summer.

Paul Deighton, chief executive of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic games has played down expectations of a Beijing-style extravaganza.

"I am not sure how many countries would have either the resources or indeed the controlled resources to put on an event like that. I doubt we will have 20,000 people doing things in unison in our opening ceremony. That's just fine. That's the beauty of the contrast," he said.

Meanwhile Boyle has declined to confirm his involvement, saying, "I can't say any more. It would be lovely, wouldn't it?"

He too brushed off the comparisons but said that he optimistic about the impact of the Games on his neighbourhood.

"I would think the scale of the Games in China is not something they will try to top here. I think they will try and make it more intimate. When you look at the site it looks compact rather than gargantuan..It feels like it's a project that will bed itself in the East End and do a lot of good," the filmmaker told the newspaper.

The Lancashire-born director was credited with reinvigorating Britain's film industry in the 1990s with movies that included an adaptation of 'Trainspotting', Irvine Welsh's gritty novel about Scottish drug addicts.

Boyle has recently finished filming '127 Hours', based on the ordeal of Aron Ralston, a mountaineer who cut off his own arm in April 2003 when it became trapped under a boulder.
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