Studiocanal have announced that they will be financing a live-action/CGI-animated film based on the Paddington series of childrens books by Michael Bond. Bonds books, first published in 1958, center on Paddington Bear, an anthropomorphic bear from darkest Peru who is found at Paddington Station in London by the Brown family, wearing the note Please look after this bear. Thank you. The series followed the accident-prone, marmalade-scoffing bear through a number of adventures, and was adapted into a television series by the BBC in 1975, in which Paddington was a three-dimensional stop-motion puppet, while the other characters and backdrops were two-dimensional drawings. The film has been in development since 2007, originally housed at Warner Bros, but is now being financed by Studiocanal. Paul King, director of the incredibly creative "Bunny And The Bull", will direct the film, and "Harry Potter" franchise producer David Heyman, who has been with the project since the start, will be producing. Hamish McColl, writer of "Mr. Beans Holiday" and "Johnny English Reborn", was onboard to write the script, but whether that is still the case is unknown. Heyman, who has been producing the film through his production company Heyday Films, was quoted as follows:
"Paddington Bear is a universally loved character, and I have wanted to bring him to screen for some years. Michael Bond's 'Paddington' books have such wit, wonder and charm. Essentially, Paddington's story is that of an immigrant arriving in London and trying to find a home and a family. Above all, I love Paddington's unique style of comedy."
Heyman is certainly committed to the film, and the greenlight from Studiocanal would suggest that McColls script was completed and was well-received, but the news of a CGI Paddington in a live-action environment is a potential concern the revival of childrens television and literary characters has seen the likes of "The Smurfs", "Yogi Bear" and the "Garfield" films inflicted on audiences, and this list could soon be adding the name "Paddington Bear" to its list, if Heyman, King and co. decide to make Paddington edgy, rather than charming.
Freelance filmmaker, writer and proud geek. Mike is obsessed with film and television, and often stalls real-world conversations with the phrase, "This is actually a lot like something they did in ...".
He also blogs at http://mikehiston.tumblr.com/.