Pride - Press Archive - BBC

Source: BBC

BBC Press Release
19 April 2003

Kate Winslet in negotiation to voice the live action drama Pride, with Sean
Bean and Helen Mirren, for BBC ONE
A real pride of lions, filmed on the plains of Africa, become the characters
in a magical and dramatic tale of love and survival in Pride, an ambitious
new family film.
Kate Winslet (Titanic, Iris) is in negotiation to head the cast of celebrated
international talent as the voice of the young, rebellious Suki, with Sean
Bean (Lord of the Rings, Golden Eye) as Dark, her dangerous yet magnetic
suitor, and Helen Mirren (Gosford Park, The Clearing, Prime Suspect) as Suki's
mother Macheeba, the wise matriarch of the pride.
John Downer (who made the acclaimed documentary Lions: Spy in the Den),
is one of the world's most prominent natural history film makers.
He has teamed up with leading television writer Simon Nye (Men Behaving
Badly, How Do You Want Me, Beast) to create the captivating live action tale.
Jane Tranter, BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning, says: "Pride, like
The Canterbury Tales, is part of a growing slate of original, ambitious pieces
for BBC ONE that work alongside our new and established popular dramas.
"It fuses the BBC's core strengths with our desire to extend drama into new
With the aid of computer manipulated images as well as some habituated
lions, Pride depicts the almost human traits of real lions in a close community.
Family, love and loyalty are tested in a conflict with another pride of
marauding wanderers over ultimate control of the Pride lands.
Simon Nye, best known for penning sharp comedies but also responsible for
bringing the cherished childrens series The Railway Children and Pollyanna
to television, understands the need for engaging family programmes:
"I've got four children so I wanted to write something we could all sit down
and enjoy together. Pride is a rip-roaring tale, a fusion of comedy, drama and
natural history."
"This genre is a completely new thing for television, in the manner of Babe,
using real animals and animation techniques," says John Downer.
"The main story focuses on a pride of lions, fantastic unique animals, who
live in human type set-ups. They defend each other and form allegiances.
It's more biologically accurate than The Lion King, and the starting point is
natural history."
Pride, which has been shooting in lush African savannah over the past year,
will be shown next year. It is a BBC and A&E Networks co-production, in
association with ProSieben and John Downer Productions.
The director is John Downer, the producer is Christopher Hall (The Hound
of the Baskervilles, The Lost World), and the executive producers are John
Downer, Simon Curtis, Laurie Mackie, Head of BBC Drama Serials and Delia
Fine for A&E.
The world-renowned Jim Henson's Creature Shop is responsible for the


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