'Harry Potter' Producer David Heyman to Adapt 'Paddington Bear'

May 10, 2012
Source: Deadline

Paddington Bear

Between producing the massively successful entries in the Harry Potter franchise, David Heyman brought movies like I Am Legend and Yes Man to the big screen. Now that Potter-Mania is over, Heyman is moving on to another popular series of British stories that could end up becoming the next big kid's franchise. Deadline reports that Heyman has partnered with France's StudioCanal to produce a live action/CGI hybrid version of Paddington Bear, a book series that started with A Bear Called Paddington in 1958, about a precocious bear from Peru who is found at the Paddington train station in London and adopted by humans.

Paul King, best known for directing episodes of "The Mighty Boosh" along with Bunny and the Bull, will take the helm on this one, so there's a tiny chance this movie could be a bit more subversive than it sounds. The international appeal of Paddington certainly helps studios' ever-increasing mantra to make films that play well outside of the American marketplace, and I'm wondering if this project will be akin to something like The Adventures of Tintin in that regard, since I don't think Paddington is quite as beloved on this side of the pond as he is overseas. But the live action/CGI blend seems to be quite popular these days in children's films, with Alvin and the Chipmunks spawning two sequels and The Smurfs getting one of its own, too. We'll have to wait and see what kind of casting they end up doing here, as Paddington's human counterparts will make all the difference when it comes to the overall tone of the movie. I'd like to suggest that we get Ricky Gervais involved to start with for now. Thoughts?

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