Bond actor Ben Whishaw is set to replace Colin Firth as the voice of iconic bear Paddington.
The 33-year-old star, who has appeared in Skyfall, The Hour, Cloud Atlas and The Hollow Crown, will take over from the 53-year-old Oscar winner, who revealed his “conscious uncoupling” from the film last month.
Speaking about his decision to depart the project, which is set for cinematic release in November, Firth had said: “He simply doesn’t have my voice… I still feel rather protective of this bear and I’m pestering them all with suggestions for finding a voice worthy of him.”
And it seems the marmalade-loving Peruvian bear has now found one, in Whishaw.
“Colin was brilliant, but his voice was, ultimately, too mature. What we needed was a slightly more open, and younger, voice,” Producer David Heyman and director Paul King told Mail Online.
Whishaw, who reportedly had “no relationship to Paddington whatsoever, other than that I knew he wore a duffle coat and a hat”, will now take on the lead role in the film, which also stars Nicole Kidman, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters and new Doctor Who actor Peter Capaldi.
“He breathes and he speaks and he sounds like Paddington, rather than the most beautiful chocolate-voiced man [Firth] on the planet,” said the filmmakers.
Ellie is an entertainment, TV and film journalist writing news and (hopefully incredibly witty) comment for RadioTimes.com. She loves light-hearted dramas and glossy US series - and is more than a little bit obsessed with Downton Abbey. Foodie, sun-seeker and aspiring novelist in her own time. Likes the fact that her name rhymes with telly.