With just six months until Paddington is released on Christmas Day, Colin Firth, who was set to voice the title character, has parted was with the live-action/CGI hybrid project. Here's what the actor had to say about his departure in a statement.
"After a period of denial, we've chosen 'conscious uncoupling.' It's been bittersweet to see this delightful creature take shape and come to the sad realization that he simply doesn't have my voice. I've had the joy of seeing most of the film and it's going to be quite wonderful. I still feel rather protective of this bear and I'm pestering them all with suggestions for finding a voice worthy of him."
The parting of ways was amicable between the actor, TWC-Dimension and director Paul King, who said that a replacement will be announced in the next few weeks. Here's what the filmmaker had to say in a statement, praising Colin Firth's contributions to Paddington.
"I cannot thank [Firth] enough for his contribution to Paddington. We love the voice and we love the bear, but as our young bear came into being we agreed that the two didn't seem to fit. So, with somewhat heavy hearts we decided to part ways."
Sources indicate that the movie is nearly complete, so while the search for a new voice actor is a minor hurdle, the U.K. release on November 28 and the U.S. debut on Christmas Day should be unaffected.
The news comes less than one week after the full-length trailer was released, although we never heard Paddington bear actually speak in the new footage, aside from a few grunts and other guttural sounds. A day before the trailer was released, a Creepy Paddington Tumblr was launched, which puts the beloved character created by Michael Bond in classic horror scenes from movies such as The Shining, Oculus, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Trick 'r Treat.