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Story of Christian the lion to be adapted for film

Fans of the viral-video sensation that is Christian the lion may be pleased to know that his story may soon be coming to a theater near you.

Sony is officially moving forward with plans to adapt the tale of Christian, who was purchased (shudder) at Harrod's department store as a cub by John Rendall and Ace Bourke in 1969. Rendall and Bourke raised Christian in a trendy section of London, but they eventually realized that England was no place for a lion.  Christian was transported to Kenya, where a lion expert prepared him for life in the wild and eventually released him. Rendall and Bourke returned the following year, and footage of their joyous reunion with the now-free Christian has been viewed by millions.

Sony has tapped Piers Ashworth and Nick Moorcroft to write the script, and Neal Moritz will produce. Animal Planet has previously aired an hourlong special on the subject.

Why the desire to turn Christian's story into a film? "Contemporary studios love movies with pre-awareness, and they love family films, so you can understand why Sony would be enamored of the story of [Christian], which takes all that and throws in a tearful animal reunion for good measure," Times entertainment news reporter Steven Zeitchik said.

Learn more about plans for the Christian film and other animal-related films heading for the big screen at The Times' movie blog, 24 Frames.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: Born Free Foundation via YouTube

 
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