updated 06/14/2012 AT 8:00 AM ET
•originally published 06/14/2012 AT 9:00 AM ET
Zara Phillips plans to take center stage at the Olympics this summer when she rides with the 2012 U.K. equestrian team, but her horse won’t be the only animal in the spotlight.
Filmmaker Danny Boyle (of Slumdog Millionaire fame) revealed his plans for the London Olympics’s Opening Ceremony, and they include live horses, sheep, chickens and cows. The director plans to recreate the British countryside in the center of the Olympic stadium for the program, called Isles of Wonder.
“It’s a real meadow with real grass, real animals,” Boyle told reporters at a preview. “That’s the green and pleasant land. It is something that still exists, and something that cries out to all of us like a childhood memory.”
The $42 million production will also bring engineered clouds over the crowds, but the animals – about 120 of them – will be real.
“There’s sheep and cows and horses,” he said. “They’ll be very, very well looked after – even better looked after than our volunteers!”
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