Paddington did surprisingly well for a film about an animated talking bear that also had to replace the voice actor behind said bear late in the game. Thanks to the prowess of director Paul King, it was both a commercial and critical success, prompting the studio to green light a sequel. And who better to helm the sequel than King?
Producer David Heyman and StudioCanal have reportedly been eyeing King for the Paddington 2 director’s job since the first film’s box office performance. Now Deadline reports that it all paid off, as he will indeed return. King will work with Simon Farnaby to develop the story, and the trade notes that the hope is for the sequel to branch this property into a long-running franchise.
The only other feature film of King’s was Bunny and the Bull, on which Farnaby also worked, and perhaps this is a good thing. Despite all the money everyone involved hopes to make off of this continuation, it was King’s sensibilities that made the first such a hit. Another good sign that they won’t let the bigger picture cloud their judgement is how Deadline states the studio has no plans to pressure King into forcing the project before it’s ready. Heyman evenabout the first one:
[StudioCanal] gave us the support and freedom to make the film that we wanted to make. And there were moments where they were tested, as it were.
Paddington featured Ben Whishaw, who replaced Colin Firth as the title character afterit became clear that the bear “does not have the voice of a very handsome older man.” The film also featured Nicole Kidman, Sally Hawkins, Hough Bonneville, Imelda Staunton, and Julie Waters. No release date has been provided for Paddington 2 yet, though back during Cannes that production was to begin soon.