Everyone’s favorite polite young bear is returning to theaters for a third film. StudioCanal announced during the Cannes Film Festival that Paddington 3 has set an early 2022 filming date, for some time in the second quarter of the year.
The highly anticipated third installment leads Studiocanal’s slate of films, with a story by Paul King, Simon Farnaby, and Mark Burton and a screenplay by Burton, Jon Foster, and James Lamont. King, who directed the first two Paddington films, is not returning to direct, but will also executive produce the film. The project joins films like Colin Trevorrow’s War Magician and the Kaley Cuoco feature Role Play, also announced at Cannes.
“Our beloved bear is truly part of the family,” said StudioCanal CEO Anna Marsh.
The director, cast updates, and shooting location for Paddington 3 have yet to be revealed, but it is anticipated that Ben Whishaw will return to voice the young Peruvian bear, after reprising the role in The Adventures of Paddington, StudioCanal’s animated series produced with Heyday Films and Nickelodeon. The series was recently renewed for a third season by all three studios, who are going all in on the Paddington franchise this year.
The franchise has proved to be lucrative for StudioCanal and Heyday, with its first two films grossing over $280 million and $225 million worldwide, respectively. Praised for their humor and heartwarming messages, both films saw impressive starring roles from actors like Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant, and were even so successful that Paddington 2 maintained a perfect critic’s score on Rotten Tomatoes for a time, outranking even Citizen Kane before being knocked out of place by a single negative review. (Perhaps they deserve one of Paddington’s patented Hard Stares for that, but who’s to say.)
While it may be a while before the world’s kindest bear returns to our screens, audiences can fill the void by streaming Paddington free on Peacock, and The Adventures of Paddington on Hulu or Nick Jr.