Given the many tumultuous years since 2017’s Paddington 2, a fresh adventure from Britain’s favourite bear is more than needed – a balm for the soul. And the third outing for the big-screen series is finally on the move, readying to shoot in July, and titled Paddington In Peru. As you may have heard, this one sadly won’t feature Paul King as director, with Dougal Wilson stepping in (and making his directorial feature debut) to helm – though King did work on the story, along with Simon Farnaby and screenwriter Mark Burton. And with cameras getting ready to roll in the UK, Peru, and Colombia, we now know more about the ensemble cast for the threequel.
The headline news here is that Olivia Colman is joining the series, described by Variety as playing a “blithe and sunny guitar-playing nun” who runs a home for retired bears (we’d guess, that’s where Aunt Lucy is). Also joining the production is Antonio Banderas, playing riverboat captain Hunter Cabot, with West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler playing his daughter Gina. So far so good.
Here’s the shocker though: Sally Hawkins won’t be back for the third film. Instead, the role of Mrs. Brown has been recast, with Emily Morter stepping up to play Paddington’s surrogate human mother. “For me it has felt the right time to hand the reins over to another, and one can’t get much better than the truly wonderful Emily Mortimer, she is extraordinarily special,” says Hawkins in a statement. “She will embody the essence of Mary Brown and yet make it utterly her own. However, I am, and will always be in love with Paddington’s world. I already greatly miss my on and off-screen family — the experience of making the first two films has truly been some of the best and most creative times I have had in the world of film. They both gave me so much joy. I will forever hold them so very close to my heart indeed.” Excuse us while we wipe our tears with a marmalade sandwich.
While Hawkins won’t be back, several other familiar faces will be: Hugh Bonneville, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Madeleine Harris and Samuel Joslin are all back. And Ben Whishaw will still be voicing the plucky bear, as will Imelda Staunton as Aunt Lucy. Now – can it live up to the giddy heights of Paddington 2? No pressure, team.