Olympic Opening Ceremony
It is a fact that Wittertainment is the reason Oh Danny Boyle ended up being the director of the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony. It happened after London 2012 co-ordinator Seb Coe met Danny Boyle after Coe had been interviewed on the Daily Mayo and before Boyle's own appearance on the Film Review Show. Simon actually said to Coe words to the effect of "we've got Danny Boyle in later, how about him for director of the opening ceremony", and shortly afterwards the two were seen deep in conversation behind the studio glass.
The question of who would direct the ceremony had actually been on Wittertainment minds since the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, when, during a live link-up with Simon at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Simon mentioned that he had read that the opening ceremony's director Zhang Yimou had complained that the Chinese should have made Kung Fu Panda. Simon then asked, if the Americans staged the 2016 Games (that actually went to Rio), could Wes Craven do the opening ceremony? Mark suggested George Lucas, but then pointed out that the real interest was in the 2012 London Olympics - "I want Mike Leigh to design the opening for the 2012 Olympics. I want it to be a bunch of people sitting around in bedsits going, "oh blimey, this tea's a bit cold"." Simon then threw it out to the listeners to offer their own suggestions. Responses included:
- Sir Guy Ritchie - a bit where all former Olympic drug cheats get their heads smashed in car doors
- "Get the guy who directed Trainspotting and 28 Days Later (Oh Danny Boyle) to do it - drugged-up zombies running riot would be quite funny" - this suggestion from a listener called David of course proved prescient
- Ken Loach - but Mark preferred the idea of Ken Russell - "you'd have the whole Olympics dressed as weird psychotic nuns. It'd be fantastic"
- Terry Gilliam
- Nick Park - as a response to the amount of CGI used in Beijing
- David Lean - but you'd need a bigger stadium
- Ridley Scott - but there would need to be a recut four years later and a director's version four years after that
- Peter Greenaway - like A Zed And Two Noughts, would be A Two, A Nought, A One And A Two
- Paul Greengrass - but TV coverage would be a bit blurry
- John Boorman - "because he's great at dull, pointless and expensive things"
- Terry Jones - who could make the equestrians use coconut shells
- Russ Meyer - SIMON: What would that be like? MARK: It would just be a load of women running round with ample bosom. SIMON: That's the women's 10,000 metres. MARK: You made that joke, not me.