One of the most pleasant movie surprises in recent memory is 2014’s Paddington. While the trailers made the film look fairly atrocious, it turned out to be anything but. It was a warm, charming, funny family film that I cheerfully recommended to anyone with kids. Thankfully, other critics and audiences found it equally delightful, and it powered the film to $270 million worldwide to become the highest grossing independent family film of all time.
Now Paddington 2 is on the way, and principal photography has already begun. Variety reports that Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson have joined the film, which will see “the beloved bear, happily settled with the Brown family and a popular member of the local community, embark upon a series of odd jobs to buy the perfect present for his Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, only for the gift to be stolen.” That sounds like a pretty strong setup to get Paddington (voiced again by Ben Whishaw) into more mischievous circumstances.
According to Variety, “Grant will play local celebrity Phoenix Buchanan, a vain and charming acting legend who has fallen on hard times. Gleeson is set to play ‘Knuckles’ McGinty, a notorious safe-cracker and strongman who becomes an unexpected ally for Paddington.” This sounds like perfect casting for both actors, and I’m glad they’ll be joining Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Madeleine Harris, and Samuel Joslin in the movie.
There’s no release date yet for Paddington 2, but presumably we’ll see it sometime next year or in early 2018.