The greatest movie trilogy ever is finally on as ‘Paddington 3’ gets director and new title

paddington
Image via StudioCanal

Move over Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and, uh, The Mighty Ducks, the new greatest movie trilogy is about to form. 2014’s Paddington turned out to be one of the most universally beloved family films of the past decade, with 2017’s Paddington 2 managing to be just as good, if not better. So hopes are high that the saga of the marmalade-munching bear will stick the landing with Paddington 3.

By the sounds of it, however, the franchise won’t be coasting by in its third installment as a new director is coming in to take the reins, with a fresh title promising an adventure on a bigger scale than ever before. As broken by The Hollywood Reporter, franchise veteran Paul King is stepping aside to let first-time director Dougal Wilson spearhead Paddington 3, which is now officially called Paddington in Peru.

King was prevented from completing the trilogy himself by his commitments to Warner Bros.’s Wonka prequel, starring Timothee Chalamet. He is, however, still on board as an executive producer. King similarly conceived of the film’s story with Simon Farnaby and Mark Burton. Burton, along with Jon Foster and James Lamont, penned the screenplay. In a statement marking the news, King admitted it was tough to pass the baton but he has high hopes for Wilson:

“After ten years of working on the Paddington movies, I feel absurdly protective of the little bear, and I’m delighted that Dougal will be there to hold his paw as he embarks on his third big-screen adventure. Dougal’s work is never less than astounding: funny, beautiful, heartfelt, imaginative, and totally original. Aunt Lucy once asked us to ‘Please Look After This Bear.’ I know Dougal will do so admirably.”

Wilson himself promised that he will endeavor to honor what people love about Paddington:

“As a huge fan of the first two films, I am very excited (if not a little intimidated) to be continuing the story of Paddington. It’s a massive responsibility, but all my efforts will be focussed on making a third film that honours the love so many people have for this very special bear.”

A logline has yet to be provided, but clearly Paddington in Peru will see the so-described “very special bear” journey back to his native home of (Darkest) Peru. As super-fans will remember, the first movie opened with Paddington’s Aunt Lucy sending him to London after his Uncle Pastuzo is killed in an earthquake.

Likewise, no cast has been announced so far, but presumably Ben Whishaw will reprise his eponymous voice role, with Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins no doubt involved, too, as Paddington’s adoptive human parents, Mr. and Mrs. Brown. Hopefully another major name will be contracted to play the latest despicable villain as well, following Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant’s scenery-chewing performances.

Paddington in Peru is set to start shooting in both London and Peru in 2023. A release window has yet to be supplied.