To Walk With Lions
Last Update: 17 February 1998
On January 10, 1998, a small gossip item written by Imogen Edwards-Jones appeared in the Metro section of The Times. The article stated, in part:
Still, determined to truffle out a few artistic amuse bouches for your delectation, I fraternised frantically with the model and masseuse community of Langata (the Notting Hill of Nairobi). But while all eyes back home were on the precarious assets of Ginger and pals, Nairobi's man of the moment was Sean Bean, the original Rough Spice, who is filming a new oeuvre, Walk With Lions, in Kenya. When word got out that they were auditioning for hay-stack fodder to romp with the lovely Mr Bean, the entire Out of Africa extras posse was mobilised, all desperate to swig pink gins alongside co-star Richard Harris and leap into bed for a bit of white mischief with Bean's bush rogue character. "It's just the idea of a romp with Sean that makes even the most jaded of palates salivate," cooed one Ghost-clad waif. The auditions were packed with plummies, keen as moutard until they found out where filming was taking place. "Up north," explained my girlfriend. "Where there are reports of an outbreak. Of anthrax."
To Walk With Lions began shooting in Kenya on March 1, 1998. Billed as a sequel to Born Free, the film is based on the lives of Kenyan wildlife conservationists George Adamson and Tony Fitzjohn. The late Adamson was devoted to reintegrating lions into the wilderness while Fitzjohn worked with the almost never seen African leopard.
Although Sean was heavily favoured for the part of Tony Fitzjohn, Kingsborough Greenlight Pictures Inc., the film-makers, confirmed that their negotiations with Sean didn't come through, and they cast another actor in the role of Fitzjohn.