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Danny Boyle Reveals Shakespeare-Inspired Plan for 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony

Danny Boyle London Red Carpet - P 2012
Ian Gavan/Getty Images

The Oscar-winning director says he's based the program on "The Tempest", and it will feature a specially commissioned bell to ring at start of the London Games.

LONDON –  Filmmaker Danny Boyle has told the British media that he hopes his opening ceremony for the London Olympics will be intimate and have humanity at its core.

NHS nurses, hundreds of children from the British capital’s East End will be heralded by the biggest ringing bell in Europe, Boyle told media when sketching selected details of his artistic vision for the opening ceremony.

The £27 million ($42.3 million) budgeted 2012 Olympic opening ceremony is to be inspired by William Shakespeare's The Tempest and scored by Underworld.

Boyle’s plans, a constant source of speculation across the British media and chattering classes, will not be on the same scale as the Beijing games’ opening shindig but will reflect Sydney’s idea of making it the people’s Games.

"Given the economy, the reduction in scale is inevitable. But what has been amazing is that the stadium has already begun that process and has gone for an intimacy that we hope to make part of the Games," Boyle told reporters.

“You are standing on the shoulders of giants when you do this kind of job. You can not but live in the shadow of your predecessors. The spectacle of Beijing was just breathtaking. The sheer beauty of Athens is very inspiring but I have to say that Sydney has inspired us. It got the feel of a people's Games right,” Boyle said. “It is inevitable that people will compare us - and that is fine. I think there is a sea change and we are lucky enough to be setting it. It will be spectacular but the reduction in scale is inevitable."

Stephen Daldry, the director of best picture Oscar nominee Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, is overseeing the artistic vision for all four ceremonies for the Olympics and Paralympics.

He said Boyle had alighted upon The Tempest as an overarching theme for all of them.

The British government recently said it will pump an extra £41 million ($64.3 million) from the £9.3 billion ($14.6 billion) public sector funding package to double the budget for the Games ceremonies, justifying it by saying it was a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to promote the U.K.