Catching moviegoers out with its heartfelt story and offbeat humour Paddington was a charming, smash hit at the box office, keeping everyone’s favourite bear in Marmalade to the tune of $287 million worldwide.
Naturally, talk soon began to surface of a sequel and with adoration still ringing in his ears writer/director Paul King (The Bunny and the Bull) began crafting the next instalment. While there’s already talk of a third outing for the raincoat clad bear, principle photography on the Paddington sequel, with King again both writing and directing the film, is now officially underway, and as an official press release from Heyday and Studiocanal confirms, we're going to be getting two noteworthy character actors to add to the movie’s cast, too.
The cast of Paddington 2 now includes Hugh Grant (Bridget Jones’ Diary) and Brendan Gleeson (In the Heart of the Sea).
Here is the official statement about the news that was issued by King:
“It has been a complete joy to return to the world of ‘Paddington.’ It was such a delight to see his first big screen adventure embraced by audiences around the world, and I couldn’t be more excited about Hugh and Brendan joining the cast to bring his next outing to life.”
The plot revolves around Paddington – who must be living in fear as an immigrant in a post Brexit Britain, Bearxit if you will - now a “popular member of the local community,” and the Brown family – as led by Mr. Brown (Hugh Bonneville) and Mrs. Brown (Sally Hawkins) – as they “embark upon a series of odd jobs to buy the perfect present for his Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, only for the gift to be stolen.”
Paddington cast members such as Julie Walters and Peter Capaldi are also reprising their roles from the first movie in the sequel too; meanwhile, Grant is playing Phoenix Buchanan, a “vain and charming acting legend who has fallen on hard times,” and Gleeson is playing “Knuckles” McGinty: a “notorious safe-cracker and strongman” who is surprised when he finds an ally in Paddington.
If Paddington 2 can keep the same offbeat humour and charming characters – as well as the inventive visual design – then there’s no reason why it can’t capture people’s imaginations again. Paddington 2 is set for a late 2017 theatrical release in the U.K and a potential early 2018 release in the U.S.