Colin Firth Drops Out Of “Paddington”

The launch of the first trailer for “Paddington,” the part live-action/part-CG animated Paddington Bear movie the other day, surprised many.

Gone was the gentle but mannered tone of the books and TV series, replaced by wild slapstick and toilet humor. It was also surprising not to hear any voice work from actor Colin Firth in the role.

EW has an explanation for the latter – seems Colin Firth has dropped out late in the game. Firth himself says that “After a period of denial, we’ve chosen ‘conscious uncoupling'”.

The decision was mutual apparently: “Its 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 new voice is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, and Nicole Kidman star in the film which is still due for release this Christmas.