David Heyman & StudioCanal Are Considering 'Paddington' Sequel
Though January is usually a dumping ground for bad movies, the family friendly adaptation of Paddington was a surprising critical darling with a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. And the film has been doing decently at the box office by pulling in over $200 million worldwide, which is the highest grossing family film released by a studio outside of the United States. And now the European-based StudioCanal is looking at rounding up some more family films, and part of that plan included discussions with Paddington producer David Heyman about bringing the bear back for a sequel, though it's not a guaranteed plan yet.
StudioCanal CEO Olivier Courson was speaking at Berlinale over the weekend and when asked about the potential for a sequel, he said (via Variety), "Obviously, the result on Paddington is a strong incentive to us and the partners on the movie to work on a sequel, and a strong incentive for Studiocanal to continue in this area. Paddington has been our biggest bet. Even the development costs, such as creating the bear, were significant. But it shows we can be ambitious in this area of family entertainment, even if it brings us into more direct competition with U.S. studios.”
The success of Paddington is particularly surprising considering the problems that the film had in post-production. Colin Firth was originally hired to be the voice of the titular bear, but after a "conscious uncoupling" he left the project and was replaced with Skyfall supporting star Ben Whishaw. But it sounds like that turned out to be a smart choice, and didn't impact the quality of the film. But the question is whether or not producer David Heyman and StudioCanal can deliver another quality film based on the children's book character. It's not easy to capture lightning in a bottle twice, but they're going to try.