The big-screen adaptation of Michael Bond’s classic kids character Paddington Bear, starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, will be brought to North America by the Weinstein Company. This live-action CGI film will be the first release through the new banner for the Weinstein Company, TWC-Dimension. Harvey and Bob Weinstein oversee TWC-Dimension.
Paddington will be the first-ever live action film inspired by the books which Bond began in 1958. The stories have previously been adapted into a cartoon series. The books follow the adventures of a curious bear from darkest Peru who arrives in the British capital lost and is adopted by a well-to-do family named Brown. The family names him after London’s iconic Paddington train station where they first found the bear.
Studio Canal will produce the film. British producer David Heyman, the Harry Potter franchise producer, will work closely with Studio Canal. The French-owned studio is fully funding the project.
Firth, an Oscar-winner for The King’s Speech, will provide the voice of the CGI teddy bear, while Kidman will play an evil taxidermist out for revenge. The duo was recently together in The Railway Man, which unspooled in Toronto.
Other cast members include Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent.
Shooting in the U.K. starts this month with TV director Paul King (Come Fly With Me, The Might Boosh) directing.
Framestore is doing the VFX work and StudioCanal has set a November 28th 2014 rollout in the U.K., planning day-and-date in its other territories that include France, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.
TWC-Dimension will release in North America in the first quarter of 2015.
StudioCanal is also handling international sales.
Producer Heyman said it is a “great honor” to bring the Paddington story to life. Further adding, “I am hugely excited to be working with Paul King, whose imagination, flair, and sense of wit and wonder, make him the ideal director. And I am thrilled that we now have such an exceptional cast to bring the story of Paddington Bear to life.”
StudioCanal chairman and CEO Olivier Courson said: “We’ve been developing the film with David Heyman for a while. Starting the shoot with such a great cast is a dream come true. And we are thrilled to have Harvey and Bob Weinstein joining us in the adventure.”
Bob and Harvey Weinstein said in a joint statement: “We have both always loved the stories of Paddington Bear and the amazing library of work from David Heyman. This film has the sensibilities of classic filmmaking as well as commercial appeal. We are excited to partner with StudioCanal and look to this as a potential future franchise, bringing this long time cherished character to the big screen for the first time.”
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Source: Hollywood Reporter