Here’s the good news (depending on your demeanor) – Paddington, that beloved bear from darkest Peru is coming to a big screen near you sometime in 2014 (if you live in Europe) or 2015 (for the United States). The character, created by celebrated English author Michael Bond and illustrated, most memorably, by artist Peggy Fortnum, has appeared in over 20 books, has been translated into 30 different languages and has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. There have even been three TV series based on the polite little bruin – perhaps the best being the 1975 effort from the BBC which saw Paddington rendered in stop motion animation, while his adoptive family, the Browns, were shown in static 2D drawings.
For the new film, entitled ‘Paddington,’ The Hollywood Reporter is stating that Oscar winner Colin Firth (for ‘The King’s Speech’) has been pegged to give the distinctive character his voice. As for the image itself, it will be rendered via CG, the better for said critter to coexist alongside cast mates Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent. Nicole Kidman is also on hand as an evil taxidermist out to harm our little hero (now that’s just weird). Anyway, TV ace Paul King (‘The Mighty Boosh’) will be seated behind the lens, working from a script by Hamish McColl of ‘Mr. Bean’s Holiday’ fame. While not directly based on any of Bond’s work, the producers have proclaimed that fans will surely recognize the adventures and attitude of their beloved Paddington.
Oh? What’s the bad news you say? Well, none other than Harvey Scissorhands himself, Harvey Weinstein, will be releasing the film in the US through a new branch of his Weinstein Company, TWC-Dimension. Why is that disheartening? Well, let’s just say that Big Harv is not what you’d call a silent partner. He’s a meddler. He believes he knows best for his audiences. He’s demanded cuts to quality films from known international directors and makes no qualms about doing so. Indeed, if he’s unhappy with how ‘Paddington’ turns out, he’ll just grab his trusty old editing shears and go to town. A classic character like this deserves better. We have some time to see what happens.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter