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Paddington is at the end of its five year road from inception to release, and the result couldn't be finer. Director Paul King and producer David Heyman, as well as the well rounded cast and crew that took part in bringing Michael Bond's beloved character to life, should be proud of themselves, knowing that their long journey together paid off in the end. This naturally means that if the money's right, Studio Canal and The Weinstein Company are going to be asking themselves one big question: why should the fun stop here?
Luckily for them, Paul King has already put some thought into the idea of a sequel, and he's explained those thoughts to Empire in a recent interview. For fans of Paddington's first film out, King's remarks below are a mixed bag of good and bad news, but come out on the mostly good side. The director told the magazine,
"It would be nice to do more if people like it and if it goes well, but they’re expensive, these films, even little British films. It has to be very well-liked. But he’s a great character to write for and there are loads of books. It doesn’t feel like you’re spoiling anything by doing ‘sequel sequel sequel’. I want to know what happens next."
I can't help but echo Paul King's sentiments that yes, it would be an absolute delight to have yet another outing with Paddington Bear and the Brown family - especially since there's a lot of Paddington stories that King could adapt into another film. Considering how the first film incorporated so many key pieces of the series' mythos in its short, kid friendly running time, it's not a stretch to see another Paddington eventually happening. For instance, take a look at this classic short from the original 1970's stop motion series, in which Paddington and Mrs. Brown go pajama shopping.
Right there, you have the basis of a Paddington 2, where the titular bear becomes a pajama model/store employee for Barkridges. Keep in mind, the first film has been out for some time in Europe, and has already grossed $122 million overseas. On top of that, the early estimates for the film's first weekend in American release have been upgraded to a clean $25.2 million... which puts it ahead of The Wedding Ringer for second place. That right there has to have Weinstein/Dimension execs patting each other on the back, as kids movies have legs and Kevin Hart is a known quantity at this time of year.
Still, there's one gigantic stumbling block that stands between the fans and a potential Paddington 2: it's a very intricate blend of the whimsical and the realistic that makes the film work. As Paul King notes in the interview with Empire, that takes a lot of time to get right. So if The Weinstein Company is thinking they can squeeze a Paddington 2: Hard Stare To Hell out anytime soon, they might want to rethink that manuver and actually take the time to make something worthwhile.
Until we hear more details about the idea of Paddington 2, you can go see Paddington in theaters now. Trust me, it's adorable.