The two Paddington films are, without hyperbole, the most delightful things ever put to film in the entire history of the medium, so we’ve eagerly followed whatever director Paul King takes on next. That answer, according to THR, is a fantasy film titled Time’s Fool at Fox Searchlight, based on Glyn Maxwell’s 2002 novel, Time’s Fool: A Tale in Verse. The project will re-team King with writer Jon Croker, who contributed drafts to both Paddington films, and producer David Heyman.
The novel follows a character named Edmund Lea, who is cursed to ride a ghost train every day of his life except every seven New Year’s Eves, when it pulls into his hometown.
“I’ve always been attracted to films which use magical ideas to explore real human emotions. And so when, one rainy afternoon, Jon poured me a cup of tea and told me the story of Time’s Fool, I was immediately hooked,” King said. “It’s a captivating tale of wonder and heartbreak which sets the pulse racing and the imagination on fire. David, Jon and I will do our best not to mess it up.”
Croker added, “When I first read Glyn’s book 12 years ago, I simply couldn’t put it down — it’s romantic yet realistic, funny yet sad, epic yet intimate, and above all, profoundly human. Paul is so good at finding cinematic ways of expressing deep feelings that this felt like the perfect fit for his unique talents.”
When Collider spoke to Heyman in the lead-up to Fantastic Beasts 2, the producer let slip that King would not be directing a yet-to-be-greenlit Paddington sequel—althought it is in the works—because of a secret, “exciting” project. (Which, assumedly, is Time’s Fool.)
“I don’t think Paul King will direct the third,” Heyman told us. “He did the first two. He and I were working on another project together that I think, will be really exciting…He’s very special, Paul.”
David Greenbaum, Matthew Greenfield, Katie Goodson-Thomas, and Peter Spencer will oversee the project for Fox Searchlight.