Nickelodeon is developing a 3D animated Paddington TV series, with Ben Whishaw reprising his voice role from the live-action Paddington movies. The late Michael Bond's marmalade-loving literary character Paddington Bear has gotten a new lease on life thanks to Paul King's big screen adaptations of the character and his world. Celebrated for their whimsical blend of humor, heart, and socially progressive themes, King's Paddington films have grossed nearly half a billion dollars (against fairly modest budgets) between the pair of them. Unsurprisingly, producer David Heyman has confirmed that Paddington 3 is in the early stages of development now, too.
That said, it might be a little while before another Paddington movie hits the scene, seeing as the previous two films were released three years apart. It's also not clear yet if King will be back at the helm, given his current schedule. The filmmaker reportedly left Disney's live-action Pinocchio remake near the end of last year, but is still attached to direct Warner Bros.' Willy Wonka film (which Heyman is also producing) in the near future. In the meantime, it's been confirmed that Whishaw will once again bring the kindly Peruvian bear to life in a newly-announced cartoon series on Nickelodeon.
StudioCanal and Nickelon have now officially announced their plans for an animated Paddington TV show that will air on Nickelodeon's networks worldwide in 2020. The show is being directed by Adam Shaw (Go Jetters, Digby Dragon, Miffy, Q Pootle 5) and written by Jon Foster and James Lamont (The Amazing World of Gumball, Cuckoo). Heyman will produce through his Heyday Films banner, with Whishaw lending his voice to Paddington Bear once again. You can check out the first-look image from the series, below.
The Paddington series will follow the adventures of a younger Paddington as he writes letters to his Aunt Lucy from Windsor Gardens, telling her all about his experiences in London. According to the press release, the show's aim is to offer the same combination of "heart, kindness, slapstick humour, fun and generosity" as King's films, which is encouraging to hear. As much as fans are no doubt looking forward to another live-action romp with Paddington and the Browns, an animated TV series like this will be able to reach the franchise's younger target audience much more readily and consistently by comparison. Everyone need not worry about Paddington 3 being cancelled either, as the press release also confirms that StudioCanal and Heyday Films are currently working on nailing down its story.
Paddington is one of a few major projects that Nickelodeon's announced this week, as part of their effort to revitalize their dwindling ratings in recent years. The network is also seeking to expand the SpongeBob Squarepants franchise with new character spinoff series, and is now officially developing an animated Star Trek TV show from Netflix's Trollhunters writers Dan and Kevin Hageman. And if that wasn't enough: last week, Nickelodeon Studios announced its plans to develop a Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated film for Netflix, as part of a new deal with the streamer. Between all of that and announcing Paddington, the Nickelodeon company at large is clearly determined to avoid being left behind in the modern world of home entertainment.