It’s been revealed that Colin Firth has dropped out of providing the voice for Paddington Bear.
“After a period of denial, we’ve chosen ‘conscious uncoupling,'” Firth told Entertainment Weekly, in reference to the phrase Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin used to describe their recent amicable divorce.
“It’s been bittersweet to see this delightful creature take shape and come to the sad realization that he simply doesn’t have my voice,” he continued. “I’ve had the joy of seeing most of the film and it’s going to be quite wonderful. I still feel rather protective of this bear and I’m pestering them all with suggestions for finding a voice worthy of him.”
The film’s director, Paul King of Mighty Boosh fame, also released a statement.
“I cannot thank [Colin Firth] enough for his contribution to Paddington. We love the voice and we love the bear, but as our young bear came into being we agreed that the two didn’t seem to fit. So, with somewhat heavy hearts we decided to part ways.”
While it’s not exactly uncommon for films to pull the old switcheroo with voice actors, it is a tad unusual to do it this late in production. The film is all but finished however, so it shouldn’t be too hard for the filmmakers to slot in a new voice-over once another actor has been cast.
The planned release date for the film has not changed, and is still November 28th in the UK.