Colin Firth & Nicole Kidman Reteam for 'Paddington' Film Adaptation
by Ethan Anderton
September 13, 2013
Since a promo poster appeared last summer, we haven't heard anything new about David Heyman's adaptation of the children's book series Paddington Bear. The Weinstein Company has just announced their acquisition of North American rights to the film which is simply called Paddington, but it will be released under their revamped TWC-Dimension banner which will be used for Harvey and Bob Weinstein to "team on films for which they share a common passion." In addition, they've announced Colin Firth will voice the precocious bear from Peru, found at Paddington train station in London and adopted by humans.
This adaptation of Paddington will follow the titular young bear that was raised as an anglophile by his Aunt Lucy in Peru. He is left lost and alone at London’s Paddington Station when Lucy decides it’s time to go to England in search of a better life. While staying with a kind family who takes him in, Paddington sets out in search of an explorer who inspired his aunt years before, avoiding a sinister taxidermist and unintentionally bringing comic mayhem. Those stuffed bears are always getting into trouble.
Paul King, best known for directing episodes of "The Mighty Boosh" along with Bunny and the Bull, will take the helm, and he's also rounded up Nicole Kidman (who recently starred with Firth in The Railway Man) to play an evil taxidermist as the film's primary villain. In addition, Hugh Bonneville ("Downton Abbey") has closed his deal to join the cast as Mr. Brown, and he will be joined by Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine) as Mrs. Brown, Julie Walters (Mrs. Weasley from Harry Potter) as the housekeeper Mrs. Bird, and Jim Broadbent (Moulin Rouge) as the antiques shop owner Mr. Gruber.
Filming will take place in the United Kingdom, and Studiocanal is releasing the film next holiday season on November 28, 2014 across the pond and in other territories including France, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. But TWC-Dimension will release the film in the United States during the first quarter of 2015. That seems like it might miss out on family audiences hitting the movie theaters around the holidays, even if American audiences aren't necessarily as interested in the British property. This sounds like a nice family film with some great talent attached, so we'll see what happens.