2015 began with two big surprises when it came to the box office: Mortdecai was even more of a disaster than everyone thought it would be, and Paddington managed to be an amazing success that no one could have predicted. While the former is trying its hand at remaining relevant with a PG-13 rated cut on VOD, the latter is looking to get into even more family-friendly mischief with a sequel. While we thought Paddington 2 would be a while off, it looks like Ben Whishaw seems to think production could begin real soon.
How soon? Well, according to The Hollywood Reporter's conversation with Whishaw, it sounds like Paddington 2 is gearing up for a production start date at some point next year. Of course, this information is far from confirmed, as the actor was quick to add the caveat that, "It’s just whispers at the moment, nothing has been confirmed." Whispers are a pretty good step in the right direction, and considering all of the factors involved, this isn't too much of a surprise.
Confirmed or not, this news is pretty awesome considering director and co-writer Paul King has previously said that he'd love to make another Paddington film out of the extensive background of source material there is to work with. With Studio Canal celebrating the film's recently found status as its highest grossing film, the company is obviously happy with the film's performance, and is eager to follow up with another blockbusting hit as soon as possible.
The only piece of the puzzle that makes us question if such a quick start date is a good idea is, of course, the story. It took a while to crack the story and align the stars for the first Paddington film, and one would think that everyone's favorite British bear is a hot enough property to warrant a sequel but an evergreen enough prospect that a delay in production wouldn't kill it entirely. The box office moves at a breakneck pace, but let's face it: Paddington isn't a tween literature sensation that has an exponentially decreasing shelf life.
A successful film like Paddington feels like lightning in a bottle, so naturally Studio Canal is going to want to see if they can capture that magic again as soon as possible. A 2016 start date, while unconfirmed, is definitely something to talk about when it comes to the future of Paddington Bear. It feels like the children's icon is finally getting his due, and to screw that up with a rushed sequel is something that should be avoided at all costs. Still, we can't help but be excited that the wait for the continuing adventures of the Brown family, Aunt Lucy, and Mr. Curry – as well as Paddington himself – might be much shorter than we thought.
Paddington is now available on Blu Ray, DVD, and Digital HD. If you haven't seen it already, now's as good at time as any.