With the teasers and trailers for Paddington doing the rounds in recent weeks, it was assumed that all was rosy in the garden for the producers ahead of a November release date.
However, news has broken today that the Colin Firth, who was voicing the bear himself, has dropped out of the film, leaving the producers scrambling for a replacement.
Firth explained to Entertainment Weekly that “after a period of denial, we’ve chosen ‘conscious uncoupling,'” parodying Coldplay singer Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow’s reason for spliting up a short time ago.
He continued: “It’s been bittersweet to see this delightful creature take shape and come to the sad realisation 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.”
It is extremely unusual for a voice actor to drop out of a movie at such a late stage and we’re expecting that this won’t be the last that we hear of this. It does leave the studio in the lurch though, with only five months left to find a suitable replacement and re-record Firth’s lines.
Paddington is due to open in the UK on November 2014.