Pride - Press Archive - Telegraph

 
Source: The Telegraph

The lion queens
By Tom Leonard, Media Editor
(Filed: 19/04/2003)
 
Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren and Sean Bean are poised to provide the voices
for a pride of African lions in an unusual BBC film attempting to merge
natural history, comedy and drama.
 
The lions will be the stars of Pride, a 90-minute family drama, which has
been written by Simon Nye, the creator of the comedy Men Behaving Badly.
 
The film, a mix of natural history footage shot on location and computer-
generated imagery, will depict the "almost human traits of real lions in a
close community".
 
Winslet is in negotiation to provide the voice for the main character, Suki,
with Bean as Dark, her suitor, and Mirren as her mother, Macheeba.
 
The plot revolves around the tested loyalties within the pride when other
lions try to take over its territory.
 
The film is being directed by a natural history documentary maker, John
Downer, and shot with the same techniques used by the BBC's natural
history unit. Facial expressions and mouth movements will be added by
computer.
 
A crew has been shooting in the African savannah during the past year,
looking for scenes that fit Nye's story. If the animals fail to provide the
required shots, other scenes may be filmed at zoos.
 
Jane Tranter, the BBC controller of drama commissioning, said Pride - which
will be broadcast next year - reflected its desire to "extend drama into
new areas".
 
Nye, who also wrote television adaptations of The Railway Children
and Pollyanna, described his lion drama as a "rip-roaring tale, a fusion
of comedy, drama and natural history".
 
He said: "I've got four children so I wanted to write something we could
all sit down and enjoy together."

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