Uh oh. The reception for Paddington was already a bit murky after the debut of the newest trailer, but now it seems one of most anticipated parts of the film–Paddington’s voice–is gone too. Colin Firth, who had voiced the cuddly British bear, has left the project, which leaves the filmmakers scrambling to find a new actor to fill the role for the film that opens later this year.
In a statement to EW, Firth said: “After a period of denial, we’ve chosen ‘conscious uncoupling.’” He also adds, “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,” the actor said. “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.”
Now this leaves PWD-Dimension in a bind as it rushes to find a replacement for the film that opens in just 6 months from now in December. Last minute dropouts aren’t unheard of, but are rather uncommon. Originally Robert Downey Jr. was supposed to play Mr. Peabody in DreamWorks’ Mr. Peabody & Sherman and William H. Macy was tagged to voice Marlin in Pixar’s Finding Nemo.
Director Paul King affirmed that the search for the new voice has commenced and will be announced in the next few weeks. He also commented about the split saying, “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.”
Hopefully a decent replacement will be found soon. We were looking forward to hearing the hunky
Mr. Darcy Colin Firth voice the iconic bear, but guess those days are long over. Luckily, re-recorded a new voice is much easier than refilming entire scenes.
Paddington is still set to release on December 12, 2014.