“Paddington” has a new voice as Ben Whishaw makes his debut as the famous literary teddy bear in the latest trailer for The Weinstein Co. live-action/CGI hybrid tale.
The British actor takes over from Colin Firth, who exited the project in June in an amicable departure. At the time, producer David Heyman said the Oscar winner’s voice was ultimately “too mature” for the character. “After a period of denial, we’ve chosen ‘conscious uncoupling,'” Firth explained.
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Whishaw then stepped in, giving the bear — who travels from the jungles of Peru to London and is taken in by the Brown family — a more whimsical, innocent personality and voice.
Originally brought to life in a series of beloved books by Michael Bond, once Paddington arrives in London, he is protected by his new family from an evil taxidermist (played by Nicole Kidman) who would like to stuff him.
“Paddington” co-stars Kidman, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters and “Doctor Who” actor Peter Capaldi.
Paul King is directing “Paddington,” which is set for a Christmas Day release in the U.S.