Since we last saw our good friend Paddington Bear, the world has gotten much, much worse. 2017’s Paddington 2 was a joyous sendoff to the good times, with Paddington finding the perfect gift for his Aunt Lucy and causing sea levels to rise due to an influx of tears. Unfortunately, however, in the last four years, things took a turn. Hugh Grant was denied an Oscar nomination for his role in the film, and Taco Bell discontinued the Mexican Pizza. Coincidence? We think not.
When will we reunite with England’s most polite Peruvian bear and fix the world’s ills? According to the voice of Paddington, Ben Whishaw, this year. Earlier this week and days before Yum Brands CEO teased the return of the Mexican Pizza, Whishaw told the BBC that production on Paddington 3 would begin by the end of 2022.
Whishaw will return, but not director Paul King, who helmed the first two Paddington movies. Instead, King is making a beeline for the world’s most famous chocolate factory, directing Wonka, the Timotheé Chalamet Willy Wonka origin story, which still sounds awful, but we hope for the best.
As for Whishaw, the actor says that voicing Paddington in movies and the animated series The Adventures Of Paddington is a challenge because children refuse to acknowledge that Paddington is anything other than a real bear.
“It’s very disappointing,” Whishaw said. “Occasionally, a parent will point me out to a child, and I can see the bafflement on their faces because how can I possibly be Paddington?”
“It doesn’t make any sense to them. And to try to explain that I’m the voice of Paddington is even more confusing for their minds. Bless them.”
While Paddington 2 grossed less than its predecessor, it still made more than $192 million worldwide. Not bad for a friendly, prison abolitionist bear. It also received high marks from The A.V. Club. Critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky called the film “a cut above the majority of family entertainment” with Paul King proving himself “a confident and comparatively sophisticated stylist, employing cutaway sets, Rube Goldberg slapstick, animated sequences in different styles, and loads of visual gags to create the film’s dollhouse-storybook world.”