[dropcap]D[/dropcap]ig out the marmalade sandwiches, everyone’s favourite bear is making a comeback! That’s right, Paddington is due to hit the silver screen, with Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville as father-figure Henry Brown.
The take-on Michael Bond’s tales of a talking, duffle-coated ursine, who is taken under the wing of a middle-class London family, will finally begin production later this year. In the making since 2007, it will not focus on a specific story from the series, but rather draw inspiration from the whole lot. Following in the footsteps of Ted, the character of Paddington himself will be a computer-generated character within a live-action setting.
As already mentioned, Hugh Bonneville is set to star, which will no doubt please the purists. Whilst originally from ‘Darkest Peru’, Paddington has always remained a quintessentially British creation, so where better than ‘The Abbey’ to find the archetypal English gent? Hugh Laurie, that other rather splendid old bean, has also been earmarked for the voice of Paddington. Although only in talks at the present time, the Blackadder stalwart has plenty of previous experience in lending his vocal talents to animation. The Ugly Duckling, Stuart Little and The Simpsons make for nothing if not a diverse trio!
Any doubts that Paddington will be a sure-fire hit will be quickly dispersed with the news that David Heyman, maestro of the Harry Potter series, will produce – as selling points go, that’s pretty good going. In the director’s chair will be Paul King of The Mighty Boosh fame, whilst the writer tasked with penning the screenplay from Bond’s genius novels is Hamish McColl, whose CV includes Johnny English Reborn and Mr. Bean’s Holiday (you can’t have it all).
If ever a movie has the potential to appeal to all ages, then this is it. Paddington is set for release in November 2014.