The recent trailer for Paddington made the movie look fairly awful, but I was still curious to hear what he would sound like with Colin Firth. It looks like I’ll never have the answer. According to EW, Firth, who was set to provide the voice of Paddington Bear, has decided to leave the production. “After a period of denial,” says Firth, “we’ve chosen ‘conscious uncoupling.’” After seeing Paddington in action, Firth says he’s “come to the sad realization that he simply doesn’t have my voice.” I assumed his vocal performance would bring a level of dignity to the character, and that apparently no longer fits with the earwax-tasting, toilet-dunking Paddington we saw in the trailer. Firth did add that “I’m pestering them all with suggestions for finding a voice worthy of him.”
Although finding a replacement and re-recording the lines will be a bit of a headache, it shouldn’t be an insurmountable task to find a new voice actor and still make the film’s December 25th release date. Director Paul King (The Mighty Boosh) says Paddington’s new voice will be announced in the coming weeks. The film’s live-action cast still includes Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, and Nicole Kidman. Sound off in the comments about who you think should voice Paddington.