After helping to produce the Harry Potter movie franchise, I should have trusted that producer David Heyman knew what he was doing with Paddington, but the trailers left me a bit worried. Shortly after the movie was released in London, I began to hear the buzz: how the film was a perfect mix of humor for kids and adults and writer-director Paul King had made some magical. But I was still not sold. However, when I finally sat down to watch it for myself a few weeks ago, I was floored. Everyone involved in this production has crafted a timeless tale of family and friendship, and I’m extremely confident it’s going to be one of the best reviewed films of the year. I strongly recommend seeking it out this weekend when it opens in theaters in North America.
At the recent Los Angeles press day I landed an exclusive video interview with David Heyman. He talked about his reaction to the film’s acclaim and why the movie is a success, working in jokes both kids and adults could enjoy, what they learned from test screenings, if they’re already considering sequels, the benefits of making Paddington now as opposed to when he first bought the rights, why Colin Firth left the project, what it would take to put Paddington and Ted together, and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch.
Before getting to the interview, if you’re not familiar with the film, the story centers on a bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) who is lost at Paddington Station in London, adopted by a kind family, and then sets out in search of an explorer who inspired his family to visit London years before. The live-action cast includes Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, and Peter Capaldi. For more on Paddington, watch the trailer, read Matt’s review, or check out all our previous coverage.
- 0:30 – Reaction to the film’s acclaim and why the movie is a success.
- 1:54 – Working in jokes both kids and adults could enjoy.
- 2:48 – What did he learn from friends and family screenings, and how it influenced putting together the film’s opening.
- 5:08 – Thoughts on the movie’s current worldwide box office.
- 6:37 – How he handled that the movie would be promoted in part because he produced the Harry Potter franchise.
- 7:28 – If they’re already considering sequels.
- 8:28 – What it would take to put Paddington and Ted together.
- 9:39 – The benefits of making Paddington now as opposed to when he first bought the rights; explains why Colin Firth left the project.