Steven Spielberg headlines NBC’s 2024 Summer Olympics film, promos

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Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg stars in NBCUniversal’s opening film that will welcome viewers to its presentation of the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad in Paris, France, this summer.

As viewers get set to watch the opening ceremony on Friday, July 26, 2024, Spielberg welcomes them to the games with a four-minute film titled, “Land of Stories” — which showcases the Olympics as the perfect template for telling an epic story. 

Filmed at a Universal Studios soundstage in November 2023, NBCU worked with artists at Industrial Light & Magic to transport Spielberg to Paris.

“Steven Spielberg is one of the world’s greatest storytellers,” said Molly Solomon, president and executive producer, NBC Olympics Production, in a statement. “For decades we have been moved to experience the full range of human emotions through his fully immersive storytelling style. It was a thrill to see Steven so excited to speak about the magic of the Olympics – from the moments we all remember to the potential of the current athletes. It feels like the perfect prelude to the Paris Games.”

To be clear, Spielberg has no involvement in the production of the Olympics or the opening ceremony, serving simply as on-camera talent for the film and promos. He did, however, direct “Munich,” a 2005 film telling the true story of the murder of 11 Israeli athletes and their coach at the 1972 Olympics.

Shorter versions of “Land of Stories” will be used to promote NBCU’s coverage of the opening ceremony across its broadcast, cable, streaming, and social media platforms, as well as in AMC and Imax theatres. 

NBC and Peacock will present live coverage of the opening ceremony on July 26, beginning at noon eastern. Telemundo will provide Spanish-language coverage beginning at 1 p.m. eastern. Primetime coverage will begin at 7:30 p.m. eastern and Pacific on NBC and Peacock.

The plans for the opening ceremony are unlike any other. Paris 2024 organizers are turning one of the world’s most famous waterways, the River Seine, into the world’s biggest theatrical stage.

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Previous Olympics promos already use variations of the virtual view of Paris behind Spielberg. In “Land of Stories,” ILM also had to create a rendition of what the floating opening ceremony might look like. Since the ceremony has never been done this way before, any visuals from previous openers used in the spots weren’t necessarily representative of what this year’s will look like.

Instead of walking into a stadium, a four-mile-long flotilla of nearly 100 boats will carry thousands of athletes from more than 200 countries past hundreds of thousands of spectators seated on the banks of the Seine.

It was announced in March 2024 that Emmy Award-winning talk show host and Grammy Award-winning artist Kelly Clarkson and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback and two-time Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning will join two-time Sports Emmy Award-winner and NBC Olympics primetime host Mike Tirico to host NBCU’s coverage of the Opening Ceremony.

Joining Kelly, Peyton, and Mike from a different vantage point will be “Today” co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb.

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