Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor will narrate “a five-minute opus magnus” that will open NBC’s coverage of tomorrow night’s Summer Olympic opening ceremonies in London. Executive producer Jim Bell made the announcement during an afternoon conference call with media representatives. “It is pretty breathtaking,” he said. “I think it will give you a sense of the flavor of our coverage and the feeling we’re all having going into these games.”
Bell promised that London’s opening ceremonies will rival Beijing’s spectacle from the 2008 Games. “Having seen it … I can tell you that it includes some amazing moments,” said Bell, “including one that I think will be among the most astonishing and memorable in opening-ceremony history, and one that people will be talking about for years to come.”
The four-and-half hour opening ceremonies, which will air tape-delayed in the United States beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC, will be co-hosted once again by Bob Costas and Matt Lauer. On Monday, Costas told reporters that he intended to implement his own moment of silence into the telecast to honor the 40th anniversary of the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Games in Munich, since the IOC declined to recognize it in the opening ceremony, opting for a low-key tribute Monday at the Olympic Village instead. “Many people find that denial [to recognize the 1972 tragedy] more than puzzling but insensitive,” Costas said.
Bell said that Costas did not consult with NBC before making his comments, but shrugged off concerns. “I think if there’s anybody who knows how to handle himself in that situation and have the right approach and tone, it’s Bob and Matt,” said Bell. “You’ll have to watch the coverage; it will be a measured and balanced approach with the proper tone for that moment.”