Olivia Colman joins third ‘Paddington’ movie, while original star quits

Paddington in Peru is set to finally begin shooting this summer!

The first Paddington movie came out in 2014, followed by 2017’s even more popular sequel.

Based on the classic Paddington Bear stories by Michael Bond, the two beloved films have grossed more than $500 million at the box office combined.

A third adventure has been in the works for some time, and filming was originally set to commence in the spring of 2022.

The project has been pushed back several times, however, with original director Paul King busy making his Wonka movie about the early days of Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

On the positive side, the delays are because the franchise’s producers at StudioCanal are preparing the latest instalment “with the utmost craft and care, as with film 1 and 2” rather than rush it into production, and we can’t argue with that.

Well, the waiting has paid off, as the second sequel is moving forward in the very near future.

Paddington in Peru will begin filming in July, with locations including the UK, Peru, and Colombia.

We’re told that the story will follow Paddington as he returns to Peru to visit Aunt Lucy, who now resides at the Home for Retired Bears.

The plot sees Paddington and the Brown Family embark on an unexpected journey through the Amazon rainforest and up to the mountain peaks of Peru.

Ben Whishaw (Skyfall) and Imelda Staunton (Downton Abbey) are returning as the voices of Paddington and Aunt Lucy!

Also reprising their roles are Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) as Henry Brown, Julie Walters (Billy Elliot) as Mrs Bird, and Jim Broadbent (Moulin Rouge) as Samuel Gruber.

Madeleine Harris and Samuel Joslin will be back as the young Brown siblings, Judy and Jonathan.

Sadly, The Lost King star Sally Hawkins won’t return as Mrs Brown, with the character now being played by Emily Mortimer from Mary Poppins Returns.

“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,” explained Hawkins.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

Also joining the cast this time around is national treasure Olivia Colman!

The Crown star will be playing “the reverend mother, a blithe and sunny guitar-playing nun who runs the home for retired bears.”

She’ll be joined by Spanish actor Antonio Banderas (Spy Kids) and West Side Story star Rachel Zegler.

The pair are playing Hunter Cabot, “a dashing and intrepid riverboat captain who offers to help the Brown family on their Peruvian adventure,” and his daughter, Gina.

We don’t have a release date yet, but our bet is a Christmas 2024 slot.

Paddington in Peru director Dougal Wilson commented: “I am absolutely delighted to be working with such a wonderful cast on the next installment of the Paddington story.”

“I was already an enormous fan of our returning actors, but for them to be joined by Olivia, Antonio, Emily and Rachel is beyond thrilling,”, he said.

Paddington is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.