Marvel Studios fully unveiled nine upcoming movies for its Shared Cinematic Universe yesterday, so the few news stories that did not involve Marvel superheroes ended up getting left in the dust. That includes a fresh trailer for Paddington (watch it above), the upcoming live-action film adaptation of author Michael Bond’s beloved character – a feature that has Harry Potter producer David Heyman in its corner, no less.
Paddington chronicles the (mis)adventures of its title character, a young Peruvian bear who loves all things British and thus, heads across the sea to London in search of a new home. Once there, he is taken in by the kindly Brown family (who name him after Paddington Station) and soon earns a place in their hearts, despite his habit of getting into trouble (unintentionally). And that “trouble” includes a museum taxidermist (Nicole Kidman), who desires nothing more than to add Paddington to her collection…
The legacy of Bond’s work clearly helped this movie to attract an impressive roster of European stars – Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), Sally Hawkins (Godzilla), Jim Broadbent (Cloud Atlas), Julie Walters (Mamma Mia), and Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who), among others. That matter, as well as the creative and technical side of the page-to-screen adaptation process for the film, is discussed in a new featurette for Paddington, which you can watch below.
Paddington‘s namesake was originally to be voiced by Oscar-winner Colin Firth, before he stepped down and was then replaced by Ben Whishaw (Skyfall). Firth, back when he officially left the project, said that the Paddington character (as presented in the film) “simply doesn’t have my voice.” Now that we’ve finally gotten to hear Whishaw as the eponymous traveling bear, the latter’s voice does seem to offer the right mix of wide-eyed naivety and politeness that Firth’s voice (great as it is) probably wouldn’t have managed to give to the character.
Paddington was scripted and directed by Paul King (Bunny and the Bull) and recently saw its U.S. release date moved back to early 2015 by The Weinstein Company, so that King’s adaptation won’t risk getting trampled at the box office during the winter holiday film stampede this year. King’s feature, judging by trailer footage, looks to be a decent helping of innocence and comical mischief, and it ought to have a bit more luck finding an audience (here in the States) away from the Christmas/New Year frame.
Over in Bond’s native England (and the UK), though, Paddington should having more drawing power at the box office, since more adult filmgoers will have grown up familiar with the title character (compared to the U.S.) – and thus, will be more likely to make it a choice for a family-friendly viewing.
Feel free and let us know if you plan on giving Paddington a look in theaters, in the comments below.
Paddington opens in U.S. theaters on January 16th, 2015.