PADDINGTON Hard-Stares His Way To Television
The first two Paddington movies are among the best family films ever made, and among the best films of any sort made this decade. They're frankly miracles of creativity, with more visual cleverness and a purer heart than most movies could ever dream of displaying. They've also done reasonably strong business for StudioCanal, so the franchise is expanding - and right now, according to Variety, it's going (back) to TV.
Nickelodeon, StudioCanal, series producer David Heyman, Isle of Dogs producers Karen Davidsen and Simon Quinn, and writers Jon Foster and James Lamont (who worked on the films' screenplays) are in production on the series, which will launch on Nick next year. Based on the films' incarnation of the character (as opposed to the three previous TV series), it will feature CGI animation, the voice of returning Paddington actor Ben Whishaw, and all of the character's "kindness, generosity, and spirit," according to StudioCanal CEO Didier Lupfer. Per Nickelodeon's Layla Lewis:
“We can’t wait to welcome Paddington, one of the world’s most beloved characters, to our global Nickelodeon family with a series that will take him on fun and exciting new adventures, while staying true to his original heartfelt charm and spirit."
Now, look: we don't really give a rat's ass whether the show's aimed at pre-schoolers, retirees, or hot singles near you. We're going to watch the damn thing, because if there's one character who consistently brings light and joy to this rotten world, it's Paddington Bear Esq., and we'll turn up to whatever show he puts on.
As far as Paddington's big-screen adventures go, a third film is currently in development. Paul King (currently nominated for Best Director in our Alternate Oscars) is unlikely to direct it, though, given his commitment to a Willy Wonka origin story that's possibly ill-advised but that we'll tentatively trust him on. That's a bitter pill to swallow, as King's rampant visual imagination was a huge component of those films' creative success, but hopefully StudioCanal can find someone suitable to replace him.
Paddington spreads marmalade all over Nick next year.