He’s journeyed from Darkest Peru and ended up at Paddington Station, and appeared in a series of books and classic cartoons, but can the famous eponymous bear survive Hollywood?
Harry Potter producer David Heyman is betting he can, as he’s nabbed the rights to Michael Bond’s books for Warners and hired Mr Bean’s Holiday scribe Hamish McColl to pen a script based on the stories.
It’ll feature Paddington’s origin – his trip from Peru wearing his iconic duffle coat, his marmalade fetish, his adoption by the Brown family and the scrapes he gets into thanks to his well-meaning but clumsy nature. "Paddington Bear is a universally loved character, and I have wanted to bring him to screen for some years,” blabbed Heyman to Variety. “Michael Bond's Paddington books have such wit, wonder and charm. Essentially, Paddington's story is that of an immigrant arriving in London and trying to find a home and a family. Above all, I love Paddington's unique style of comedy."
Warners will no doubt be hoping for a franchise, since there are 11 Paddington books that were written between 1958 and 1979 – though the studio won’t work from any specific title, and their current plans call for a Stuart Little-style blend of live action and CGI. Now all we have to hope is they don’t trample all over that “unique” family favourite…