Filming is officially underway on the set of Paddington 2 – but not before Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson can join the ensemble cast.
Yes, Michael Bond’s loveable Peruvian bear is headed back to the big screen – marmalade sandwiches in tow – and StudioCanal’s Twitter account confirmed earlier today that Paul King’s live-action sequel is now in active production. Phoenix Buchanan is the name of the character Grant will portray, a washed-up actor struggling to make ends meet, while Gleeson has landed the part of “Knuckles” McGinty, a “safe-cracker who becomes Paddington’s unexpected ally.”
Returning to write and direct Paddington 2 after crafting a crowd-pleasing box office hit two years ago – the original Paddington scored over $260 million worldwide along with scores of glowing reviews – King will partner with Ben Whishaw (Spectre), who is back in the furry shoes of the titular, wide-eyed bear. He isn’t the only familiar face back for the 2017 sequel, with Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent and Doctor Who actor Peter Capaldi all on board for more family-friendly fun as well.
Behind the scenes, we know that Paul King co-wrote the screenplay with Simon Farnaby – taking up script duties from Hamish McColl – and you can find the official announcement from StudioCanal, below.
— STUDIOCANALUK (@StudiocanalUK) October 18, 2016
Paddington 2 will hobble into theaters on November 10, 2017. There’ve been mooted reports that StudioCanal is willing to get the gang together for a third entry in the series, too, so we’ll be keeping an eye on that one as well.