“Please look after this bear. Thank you,” reads the card attached to the neck of the tiny bear Paddington, who makes quite the far journey from Peru all the way to London. The character – created more than 50 years ago by Michael Bond – is getting his own live-action/CGI movie in 2014, with Oscar-winner Colin Firth providing his voice – and, if we’re going off the newly-released trailer (see above), Firth will spend most of the film making grunts and other sounds of discomfort.
Paddington’s misadventures are just beginning, though, and will soon involve things that are even more dangerous than overflowing toilets and escalators – such as a taxidermist (played by Nicole Kidman), who believes that the small bear would make an excellent addition to her museum… after a few ghastly alterations, that is.
Fear not, though, as the theatrical previews released for Paddington thus far suggest the film will be more invested in putting the eponymous bear in a variety of comically-awkward situations, as opposed to constantly running about to avoid a premature death by taxidermy. Writer/director Paul King (The Mighty Boosh, Bunny and the Bull) and producer David Heyman (Harry Potter) are presumably aiming to attract a family audience with this particular children’s literature adaptation, after all.
There’s going to be some heavy competition for the attention of families during the upcoming winter holiday season, what with the Annie remake and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb opening within days of Paddington‘s theatrical debut. The Paddington character isn’t as well known here in the States as he is elsewhere, so it’s possible that King’s film will perform a lot better overseas than at the U.S. box office. We’ll see if Paddington’s whimsical antics go over better than expected, though.
Rounding out the cast of Paddington are such names as Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who), Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), Jim Broadbent (Cloud Atlas), and Julie Walters (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2).
Paddington opens in U.S. theaters on December 25th, 2014.