Future Films Heads Up: Hugh Bonneville’s Paddington

The first sighting of Paddington was back in June – the big screen version of a certain Peruvian bear, that is.  Then there was all the kerfuffle surrounding the loss of his Colin Firth voice and its replacement by a Ben Whishaw one.  So, with the release date of 28 November creeping ever closer, a select group of film writers – me included! – was summonsed to a screening room in Soho for a preview screening of footage from the film.

That, in itself, was enough to get me there, but at the eleventh hour it was announced that we’d be in the presence of the aristocracy. OK, fictional aristocracy, because Hugh Bonneville, who plays Mr Brown in the film, was taking time off from Downton to host the whole shebang.  And a very nice tan he was sporting as well!




From what we saw, the film is almost a Who’s Who of British acting treasures – Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Sally Hawkins and the latest incarnation of Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi, are all there. We also heard – but didn’t see – that there’s going to be a cameo from Matt Lucas.  Perhaps this shot gives you a clue or two.




And, yes, that is Nicole Kidman in the back of the cab. She plays Paddington’s nemesis, an evil taxidermist at the Natural History Museum who is obsessed with finding a Peruvian bear to ……. you know what!

I can’t tell you much more, apart from that there’s going to be plenty of Paddington’s customary clumsiness, Mr Whishaw has given everybody’s favourite bear a very distinctive growl and that the audience of journalists were happily chuckling away to themselves! The omens, as they say, are good.



Marmalade sandwiches will be served on Friday, 28 November, when Paddington is released nationwide.

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