Opening ceremony is a warm-up: Danny Boyle

Last Updated: Jul 29, 2012, 09:14 AM IST

London: Oscar winning director Danny Boyle, the mastermind behind the grand opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, says the spectacle was a "warm-up" act for the Games.

The ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ filmmaker was responsible for the incredible transformation of the stadium in Stratford, where the athletics will take place, reported Contactmusic.

"Tonight`s a warm-up act for the Games. That`s one of the things you have to keep remembering. You big it up for different reasons, and you hear it bigged up or slammed or whatever it is and you`ve got to keep remembering we`re the warm-up act," Boyle said before the visual extravaganza.

The ceremony lasted nearly four hours and saw a bevy of performances. The festivities started with an illustrious trip through England`s early years and the industrial revolution. Kenneth Branagh performed an excerpt from Shakespeare`s ‘The Tempest,’ which, Boyle had said, inspired the show.

Other characters figuring prominently included Daniel Craig`s James Bond, who appeared in a pre-recorded skit with the Queen. A stunt version of the pair parachuted onto the stadium as the Bond theme played.

Among the surprises was `Mr Bean` Rowan Atkinson. ‘Harry Potter’ villain Lord Voldemort also appeared during the proceedings and was vanquished by a fleet of Mary Poppinses.

The segment included a number of villains from children`s books, including Child Catcher from `Chitty Chitty Bang Bang`.

Dizzee Rascal performed during a musical montage, rapping his 2009 hit, `Bonkers`. After the athlete march, the Arctic Monkeys took the stage to perform a medley of their song `You Look Good on the Dance Floor` and The Beatles` `Come Together`.

The biggest music moment of the evening was Paul McCartney`s performance. The Beatle sang `Hey Jude`, eventually leading a gigantic sing-along with the entire crowd in the stadium.