Paddington 3 Confirmed; Who Will Return for Threequel?

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A round of marmalade to celebrate!

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Things are looking up because Paddington 3 is officially in the works. Can you believe we’re heading into our fourth straight year since the release of 2017’s Paddington 2 and, in all that time, there has been no new Paddington movies? It’s been, er, unbearably difficult. Four years without the soothing tones of Ben Whishaw, as Paddington, discussing the merits of marmalade. Four years without Mr. Brown (Hugh Bonneville) sent into a state of all-consuming consternation at the various shenanigans his family gets him into. Four years without a new villain arriving on the scene to menace the most famous bear from Peru. Life without Paddington is a total drag, I tell ya.

Thanks to Variety, we know that StudioCanal is hard at work on Paddington 3 and that the project is still in the early stages. Per a StudioCanal rep to the outlet, “We can confirm StudioCanal is working very hard on film 3 with the utmost craft and care — as with film 1 and 2.”

That’s about as concrete as it gets at this stage of Paddington 3 production, but it doesn’t mean we can’t make some educated guesses about other details for this highly anticipated threequel. For instance, if production is already underway to some degree, then we could be looking at a possible 2023 release date — although you should take that with a huge grain of salt because production schedules could shift at a moment’s notice. We also know that Paul King, the director of both previous Paddington movies, will not return to direct Paddington 3. King has been attached to direct a new Willy Wonka movieWonka, since 2018 and has kept his focus mostly on that project (he directed a few episodes of Space Force) since Paddington 2. He may remain involved in Paddington 3 in a different capacity, but the director’s chair is wide open.

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Image via Warner Bros.

It is also likely that our beloved Paddington franchise cast will reprise their roles for the third film, although that has not been officially confirmed yet. Bonneville did tease knowledge of Paddington 3 in a recent BBC Radio 2 interview (also via Variety), commenting during an appearance on “The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show” that there is “forward momentum” on the project. It stands to reason Bonneville, Whishaw, and fellow castmates Sally HawkinsJulie WaltersMadeleine Harris, and Samuel Joslin could return for Paddington 3 unless there is some reason for big casting changes; for example, if the story cooked up for the new movie called for it.

And speaking of casting, the very crucial question of who will play the new villain remains unanswered. Previously, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant have played the respective villains of Paddington and Paddington 2. Playing the new Paddington villain is one of the highest honors an actor could be given, in this writer’s humble opinion, so casting the role correctly is essential. If I had my (very chaotic) way, I’d suggest Judi Dench, or maybe even Kenneth Branagh for the role. Both actors have proven themselves capable of turning it up to 11 onscreen (see: Cats and Wild, Wild West). But alas, I’ll have to patiently wait for Paddington 3 to make some more progress and find out the casting situation with the rest of the Paddington fandom.

We’ll keep you posted on Paddington 3 as the project develops. In the meantime, check out our updated 2021 movie release calendar. We’ll leave you with this very optimistic and lovely tweet from good ol’ Paddington to brighten up your day.

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