Harry Potter producer David Heyman first announced plans for a film based on Michael Bond's much-loved character more than four years ago. The project has now been picked up by French company Studiocanal, with The Mighty Boosh's Paul King set to direct. King, who has directed all three series of the BBC comedy show, made his feature film debut with The Bunny and the Bull in 2009.
As outlined in 2007, Heyman's plan is to combine live action and computer-generated imagery in the manner of family features such as Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little. The story will be based on an original screenplay inspired by the various characters and episodes in Paddington's life as told through Bond's books. More than 35m of these have been sold worldwide, translated into more than 40 languages since the character debuted in 1958.
"Paddington Bear is a universally loved character, treasured for his optimism, his sense of fair play, and his perfect manners – and, of course, for his unintentional talent for comic chaos," said Heyman. "Michael Bond's books offer such wit and wonder, and I am so delighted at this chance to bring Paddington to the big screen."