While the world awaits the start of the 2012 London Olympics, everyone is wondering what British director (and Oscar winner, for Slumdog Millionaire) Danny Boyle will feature in the opening ceremony. Previously, it was announced that the "Stadium will be transformed into the rolling British countryside as the London 2012 Ceremonies Team creates one of the largest sets ever built. The set will be complete with meadows, fields and rivers, and featuring families taking picnics, sport being played on the village green and farmers tilling the soil whilst real farmyard animals graze - including 12 horses, 3 cows, 2 goats, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, 9 geese, 70 sheep, and 3 sheep dogs. Each of the four nations will be represented by their national flower- the rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the daffodil of Wales and flax from Northern Ireland." Which is very different—earthier!—from the lavish pageant in Beijing four years ago.

Chinese director Zhang Yimou developed the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremonies, and the huge spectacle dazzled everyone. USA Today's Christine Brennan said, "In its first 30 minutes, it had easily outdone any of the previous 12 Opening Ceremonies I have covered. At times there was a rigidity to the performances that reminded you exactly where you are, in Communist China, but the ingenuity and beauty of the scenes quickly overwhelmed that thought." Here's the memorable drumming sequence that kicked off the ceremony:

And here's a montage of the entire 2008 opening ceremony: