Ben Whishaw to voice Paddington Bear in new TV series
Paddington Bear will be brought to the small screen in a new TV series with Ben Whishaw reprising his role as the beloved character.
Whishaw, who voiced the title character in the recent films, will return for the new CG-animated series, which follows the adventures of a younger Paddington.
The programme is aimed at pre-school children to introduce a new generation to the kind, funny and generous marmalade-loving bear, who has become a children’s literary classic since being created by author Michael Bond 60 years ago.
The show sees Paddington writing to his Aunt Lucy from Windsor Gardens, his London residence after leaving his home in darkest Peru.
Each episode will open and close with Paddington’s letters as he tells his distant relative what he has learned about life through the day’s adventures.
The show will air on Nickelodeon’s networks in 2020, and is a joint production by Heyday Films, the company behind the live-action animated films Paddington 1 (2014) and Paddington 2 (2017) and StudioCanal, with UK animation studio Blue Zoo.
A first-look image of the new TV series shows a fully 3D-animated Paddington flying above a London skyline with an umbrella, wearing his blue duffle coat and hat.
Executive producer David Heyman said: “It is a joy to bring this uniquely life-enhancing bear to a whole new audience of younger children.
“We are thrilled that the inimitably brilliant Ben Whishaw will continue to voice Paddington.
“And we are excited to be collaborating with the vibrant and dynamic animation team at Blue Zoo, working from scripts by the wonderfully talented screenwriting team Foster and Lamont.
“With producers Karen Davidsen and Simon Quinn, we’re all set for a glorious new chapter for Paddington.”
Director Adam Shaw of Blue Zoo said: “We’re honoured and excited to be working on such an iconic and well-loved character, and Paddington couldn’t be in better hands.
“It’s what Blue Zoo does best, understanding the character and nuances in the storytelling and successfully translating it into outstanding animation that kids and parents will love.”
It has also been confirmed that the story for a third Paddington film is currently in development with StudioCanal and Heyday.
The Bafta-nominated films starred Whishaw alongside Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Dame Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, with Hugh Grant joining for the sequel.