Ben Whishaw has replaced Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear in the upcoming "Paddington" movie, meeting the producer’s need for a younger voice for the iconic bear.
In the middle of production, Firth said in June that he was pulling out of the role, telling Entertainment Weekly
, “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. 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.”
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Producer David Heyman told the Daily Mail that Firth picked up on the fact that his voice just wasn’t working
for the role before he did.
"He was saying: ‘Are you sure I’m right?’ He was way ahead of us," Heyman said. "Colin was brilliant, but his voice was, ultimately, too mature. What we needed was a slightly more open, and younger, voice."
Whishaw, known for his role as Q in the Bond film “Skyfall,” and who has another film, “Lilting,” opening in August, fit the role, although the actor wasn’t initially sure he wanted it.
“I resisted a little bit, because I had a bad experience doing this kind of work in the past and I thought I was no good at it. But I was persuaded to go, slightly grudgingly,” Whishaw told the Mail, and added that as a child, he didn’t have a connection with Paddington “other than that I knew he wore a duffle coat and a hat.”
But now, he told the Mail, he’s happy that his young niece will get to hear his voice as Paddington.
Firth’s voice wasn’t featured in the trailer for the movie that was released March, and EW speculated that maybe some of Firth’s work voicing the bear might make it into extras on the completed movie.
"Paddington" will be released Nov. 28 in the UK and Dec. 25 in the United States. Along with Whishaw, the movie stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Bonneville.
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