Ben Whishaw doesn't know when or if Paddington 3 will be made, but he's already certain who he wants in the director's chair. The UK actor - who is also well-known for his portrayal of Q in the Daniel Craig James Bond films - has voiced the mild-mannered little bear for two successful films, which have universally impressed critics and performed solidly at the global box office. However despite this, confirmation of a second sequel is yet to be announced.
While Paddington was not originally a familiar animal in the US, he has always been a much-loved children's character and the subject of a cult TV animated series in the UK. He first appeared in the book A Bear Called Paddington in 1958, which was written by British author Michael Bond, and has been the subject of plenty of merchandising and entertainment media ever since. The first live-action Paddington film was released in 2014 and had the rain-coated bear inevitably realized with CGI. Colin Firth (Kingsman: The Golden Circle) was originally due to voice the title character, but the studio eventually swapped him out for Whishaw's vocals, which captured his naïve innocence and politeness perfectly. Directed by Paul King, a sequel soon followed and Paddington 2 was released to great critical acclaim last year.
RELATED: Screen Rant's Paddington 2 Review
With no current news or updates about Paddington 3, Whishaw spoke to THR about his thoughts on the possibility of another sequel and who he wants to make it;
“I would be up for one, but I think Paul King, who is the writer and the director and instrumental in making those films what they were, I think he quite rightly needs a break... It’s a tremendous amount of work that goes into those films, so I’m not sure if it will happen. Or, if it does, I’m not sure when it will happen... I can’t imagine doing it without Paul. For me, he’s the films. He’s a bit like Paddington Bear himself, I dunno if I could do it without him"
King is currently in talks about filming a new Willy Wonka movie, and given the amount of preparation required there's unlikely to be news about a third Paddington film anytime soon. But the performance of the previous two offerings make it almost inevitable that one will occur eventually. Neither film broke the global box office, but did perform solidly with Paddington earning $268m from a $55m budget, and Paddington 2 scoring a $225m gross. Paddington 2 also earned some phenomenal critical reviews and became the best reviewed film ever on RT, out-performing both Toy Story 3 and Ladybird for that honor.
The franchise attracted some quality actors to the films as well with Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water) and Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) in both, along with high-profile villains played by Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant. The last film was unfortunately caught up in the fallout from the Weinstein Company, which complicated distribution. But both movies crossed that difficult line by appealing to adults and children alike, so it's very likely indeed that we will see more misadventures of the polite little bear from darkest Peru at some point. And hopefully both Whishaw and King will be involved. We'll bring you more updates about Paddington 3 as they happen.