After marching all the way from the Peruvian jungle to $260 million at the worldwide box office, it was only a matter of time before StudioCanal issued the greenlight on Paddington 2, and now Deadline brings confirmation that the sequel is in the works with Paul King returning to write and direct.
Working alongside Simon Farnaby – he played Barry in 2015’s sleeper hit – on the screenplay, securing King for the follow-up is a significant milemarker for StudioCanal, who had long been vocal about coaxing the writer-director back for another adventure brimming with heart and marmalade sandwiches. Further in the announcement, Deadline notes that Paddington 2 is to be produced by David Heyman, who was instrumental in securing King’s place in the nascent project. At the time of writing, there’s no word yet on whether Spectre star Ben Whishaw will reprise his role as the young wide-eyed bear.
As we alluded to earlier, Paddington proved to be a bona fide hit when it launched earlier this year, and though it performed markedly better overseas – hardly surprising, given its British roots – the heartwarming film pulled in enough of a box office turnover to warrant the sequel.
Lifted from Michael Bond’s classic literary series, King’s acclaimed original was really angled in the vein of an origins story, charting the titular bear’s trek from the depths of Peru and into the heart of England. Considering the rich depth of Bond’s series, though, there are plenty of creative avenues for King and Farnaby to explore, and we have every faith that the pair can build upon the success of the original from this point forth.
Pack your duffle coat and marmalade sandwiches: Paddington 2 will be hitting theaters in late 2016 or early 2017.