Looking for some bright and optimistic news? How about the confirmation of a third instalment in a classic family series? Variety has announced that we'll be getting Paddington 3 from StudioCanal – representatives from the studio, which made the first two films, are said to have confirmed the news.
StudioCanal is quoted as saying: "We can confirm Studiocanal is working very hard on film three with the utmost craft and care — as with film one and two."
Released in 2014, the original Paddington movie impeccably translated the whimsy of Michael Bond's original source material. Ben Whishaw made his debut as the marmalade-loving Peruvian bear while director Paul King laced the story with just enough spicy subtext about cultural integration. And the performances were superb: Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins both utterly charming as Mr. and Mrs. Brown, and Nicole Kidman as sinister taxidermist Millicent.
If anything, 2017 sequel Paddington 2 was even better. A large part of that was down to the pitch-perfect casting of Hugh Grant as preening villain Phoenix Buchanan, a faded actor on the search for the hidden treasure that will help revive his career. Once again, King's exuberant yet light touch behind the camera, mixing charming character beats with absurdist humour ("Stop that stunning Sister!"), resonated strongly with audiences.
So strongly in fact that Paddington 2 boasts a perfect 100% rating on review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes. It's the most-reviewed movie on Rotten Tomatoes to hold such an approval rating, bearing 243 'fresh' reviews compared to nearest rival Leave No Trace's 236. Not bad going for the humble little bear from Peru. It's surely going to be a tall order for the third movie to reach that, not least because King won't be directing. (Instead, he's making a new Willy Wonka prequel movie.)
Speaking on the BBC Radio 2 Zoe Ball Show, Hugh Bonneville said the third Paddington film had real "forward momentum" and that it was "somewhere on the horizon".
Additional details are thin on the ground but it's claimed that StudioCanal will once again be partnering with David Heyman's studio Heyday Films. (Heyman produced the Harry Potter films and, on a completely different note, Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.)
Naturally, there's no Paddington 3 release date confirmed yet. Even so, we reckon this is very good news indeed. Tweet us your reactions @Cineworld.