We are still a long way off from when Paddington reaches movie theaters, but The Weinstein Company has just released a teaser of what they certainly hope will be a family treat come next holiday season. Based on the popular children’s book series by Michael Bond, Paddington is an animated-live action hybrid film (think Stuart Little) that follows the adventures of a young Peruvian bear who embarks on a journey to London and is adopted by the kindly Brown family. More popular in its native Britain than in the U.S., Paddington first appeared in publication in 1958 and is the star of more than twenty books which have sold a total of more than 30 million copies worldwide.
Colin Firth, Academy Award winner for The King’s Speech, will use his eloquent pipes to voice the anthropomorphized bear in a production written and directed by Paul King (Bunny and the Bull). The live action cast includes Sally Hawkins (fresh from her Oscar-nominated work in Blue Jasmine) and Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville as the Brown family, and Nicole Kidman as the villain, a taxidermist who undoubtedly has sinister plans in store for the globetrotting bear. Even thought definitive plot points on Paddington are still a premium, Kidman’s involvement reminds just slightly of the vain villain role she played in a few year back in The Golden Compass, another film based on a popular book series. On a different note, Firth and Kidman will co-star with face to face in another Weinstein Company venture, The Railway Man, which will also hit theaters some time this year.
One big item pushed in the teaser comes in the form of the “From the Producer of Harry Potter” moniker. That producer is David Heyman, one of the men behind the eight film behemoth. He also produced Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity and earned an Oscar nomination and a BAFTA award for his efforts. Paddington is slated to hit theaters December 14, 2014 and marks the first feature from TWC-Dimension, a specialty label of The Weinstein Company that encompasses a mutual passion project for brothers/moguls Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein.