Paddington hits the movie screen

He’s got his own statue at Paddington station. Now Paddington Bear will have his own feature film, no doubt with plenty of product placement of his favourite marmalade.

The film, which has been in and out of development for four years, is the project of Harry Potter producer David Heyman, who envisages a mixture of live action and CGI footage to bring Britain’s favourite Peruvian immigrant to the big screen.

The bear who was adopted by a London family has been a favourite of successive generations of children who enjoyed Michael Bond’s books and a BBC TV series. The books have sold more than 35 million copies worldwide and been translated into more than 40 languages since Paddington made his first appearance in print in 1958.

Getting the bear onto film has been a little problematic, but the project has been picked up by the French independent Studiocanal, which is keen to produce features for a British family market. Paddington would seem the perfect fit.

"Paddington Bear is a universally loved character," Heyman said, "treasured for his optimism, his sense of fair play, and his perfect manners, and, of course, for his unintentional talent for comic chaos. Michael Bond's books offer such wit and wonder, and I am so delighted at this chance to bring Paddington to the big screen."

The film will be directed by Paul King, best known for his work on the comedy series The Mighty Boosh, which also features plenty of slapstick and surreal nonsense, albeit less marmalade.

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