It’s always weird when two movie studios are working on oddly similar projects at the same time. Antz and A Bug’s Life, Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down, and now The Conjuring spinoff Annabelle and Paddington. Both are about ostensibly cute things that children should love but are actually terrifying, and both are supposed to come out later this year. Weird, right?
Well, The Weinstein Company will hopefully have a slightly less creepy Paddington on its hands when it brings in new voice actor Ben Whishaw to replace Colin Firth, who left the film after deciding that the paycheck wasn’t worth contributing to the nightmares of an entire generation of British children. OK, the official story—according to The Daily Mail—is that Firth’s voice was “too mature” for the little cartoon bear, but Paul King, Paddington’s director, did refer to Firth as “the most beautiful chocolate-voiced man on the planet,” so at least he can take that mildly weird compliment home as a souvenir.
Whishaw, who played the new Q in Skyfall, was reportedly hired for his “slightly more open, and younger, voice,” which is a nice way to call out Colin Firth for being a stuffy old bastard. Paddington diehards might be a little worried that the film will suffer with all of these behind-the-scenes shakeups, but Whishaw is prepared to prove that he’s the right man for this job by telling The Daily Mail that he has “no relationship to Paddington whatsoever” and that he attended the audition “slightly grudgingly.” It sounds like this movie is still in pretty good shape!
(h/t The Wrap)