Now just days away, the opening ceremonies of the London Summer Olympic Games are being produced by Danny Boyle, the English film director who earned an Oscar for his 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire. Titled Isle of Wonders, Boyle has said he was inspired by The Tempest for the forthcoming extravaganza and that he plans to re-create the English countryside. Rumors indicate the ceremony may begin with a stuntman dressed as Agent 007 skydiving into the stadium.
This, as it must, got me to thinking: when the Olympics inevitably make their return to the United States, what American filmmakers would be most logical to helm our opening ceremonies? In my potentially ridiculous estimation, it’s these ten.
She decides to use the opening ceremonies as a platform to re-create Point Break (“a vision of America and all her glory”) and borrows the device employed by the infamous Point Break stage show whereby one lucky Olympian is plucked from the mass gathering to play the part of Johnny Utah. Imagine the hushed tones of Bob Costas as he explains to 34 million viewers what is taking place. “And now Johnny, having just learned the man in the Ronald Reagan mask is Bodhi, agonizingly empties his chamber into the air.”
A stylish pastiche in which Q.T. references his favorite parts of the opening ceremonies of 2008, 2000, 1992, 1984, 1968, 1956, 1952, 1936, 1924, 1904, and, of course, 1896 while also turning The Del Vikings obscure pop song Cool Shake into the Olympic anthem and having Uma Thurman light the cauldron.
The ceremony revolves around helicopters, fireworks, a gigantic apple pie made out of thousands of men and women wearing pie crust costumes, a stately blowing up of the most famous landmark contained within the host city, a performance by Aerosmith, and, of course, a dog.
The director of Step Up 2: The Streets is called upon to helm an Opening Ceremony officially titled Step Up 4 The Olympics.
He incites a national incident by titling his opening ceremony celebration An Ode To The British Invasion.
Matt Lauer vilifies it as “a mountain of malaise.” Bob Costas deems it “the essence of banality.” Nick Prigge raves “the greatest Olympic Opening Ceremony these eyes have ever seen!”
Desperate to re-create “the entirety of America” inside the Olympic Stadium, Verbinski is forced to build a SECOND Olympic Stadium next door to the FIRST Olympic Stadium to accommodate this grand vision. The budget spirals further out of control. Verbinski is eventually replaced by Shawn Levy who, in an effort to reign in spending, proposes a remake of the 1996 Olympic Opening Ceremonies.
In a minor mix-up the organizing committee accidentally sends its invitation to be artistic director of the Olympic Opening Ceremonies to Paul W.S. Anderson rather than Paul Thomas Anderson. Chaos ensues when Paul W.S. Anderson decides to have the entire opening ceremony function as a martial arts contest in which each country submits a representative to battle for the right to light the cauldron.
Hosted by Naomi Watts playing someone titled The Master Of Pomp and Circumstantial Ceremonies and dressed as the Statue of Liberty on roller skates, it features Kim Kardashian reciting the Gettysburg Address. The ceremony concludes when an Elvis Impersonator carries in the Olympic Torch aboard a Coca Cola polar bear, ascends the staircase and goes to light the cauldron at which point the torch goes out. Yet, the Elvis Impersonator places his flame-less torch in the cauldron anyway and then turns and salutes the crowd as if the cauldron has, in fact, just been lit. Breakfast in America by Supertramp plays. Everyone in the stadium sort of half-applauds, confused. For the remainder of the Olympics everyone debates what the hell happened. Some critics say it was a mechanical malfunction. Some critics say it’s meant to symbolize the death of the Olympic movement. Some say it’s an invisible flame. Some say it’s an invisible flame meant to symbolize the invisibility of true amateurism in American sport. When pressed by Matt Lauer for an answer, David Lynch’s only response is this: “You saw what you saw.” Matt Lauer’s head explodes.
He buys the right to the Opening Ceremonies from the Organizing Committee, installs a puppet director and then strong-arms every entertainment critic in America into saying they loved it even though 77% of them didn’t. In a taped message International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge hails it as “the greatest opening ceremonies of all time, going all the way back to 776 B.C.” Certain conspiracy theorists note Rogge’s robotic voice, as if being forced to read off cue cards.
YOUR TURN! WHAT OTHER DIRECTORS COULD HELM AN AMERICAN OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY?!