Here's Everything We Know About 'Paddington 3' Ahead Of Its Return
*This article contains spoilers for Paddington and Paddington 2.*
The Paddington franchise, based on Michael Bond's children's stories, has become an instant classic, with children and adults alike unable to get enough of the adventures of the marmalade sandwich-eating bear.
The first instalment of the live-action adaptation burst onto screens in November 2014 and enjoyed huge success, topping the UK box office for two weeks - then, in 2017, the second instalment, Paddington 2, was released with similar success.
Way back in 2016, while the second Paddington was still in production, StudioCanal announced a third movie was on the way - the news was music to our ears and, while details have been scarce so far, we can't help but get excited about the sequel.
Here's everything we know so far...
When is it coming?
Judging by the production schedule of the first two movies, it's likely Paddington 3 is due some time in late 2020.
In November 2017 - even before the release of Paddington 2 - producer David Heyman told Digital Spy they were discussing key details for Paddington 3, though they didn't yet have a script.
Director Paul King also expressed his interest in a third project, telling the website: "We would love to do one because there's loads of source material. If there is an appetite, we would love to make a third movie, but there's no blueprint for one yet."
At the time, King added: "It would be a great shame to let go of Paddington, but there are also other things it would be nice to do.
"It's one of those tricky things. It'd be hard to say goodbye to the universe, but there are other worlds to explore."
Like everyone, we took that as an affirmative it was definitely happening, it was just early days. Fair to say, do you think?
Will the same cast and crew be returning?
In November 2018, Heyman told Collider that they were still working on a treatment (a first draft of a motion picture), but sadly, Paul King would not be directing.
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Yep, remember those "other worlds to explore" that King spoke about? After his work on Paddington, the director was quickly picked up for the upcoming Willy Wonka movie, reportedly starring Ryan Reynolds and Donald Glover.
"I don't think Paul King will direct the third. He did the first two - he and I are working on another project together," Heyman told the publication.
Ben Wishaw, who voices Paddington in the first two films, is lending his voice for the upcoming TV series (more on that later), so it's likely he'll be returning for the third instalment, too.
It's likely Imelda Staunton, who pays Aunt Lucy, will also be returning. Michael Gambo, who voices Uncle Pastuzo, could also be returning in flashbacks.
As for the rest of the cast, it remains a mystery at this point.
What will it be about?
Short answer: no one knows yet. It's highly likely there's a script in place by now, but details about the plot have been kept tightly under wraps.
However, based on the first two films we can guess there'll be a central villain, an audacious crime, and no one but Paddington Bear to save the day.
In the first film, young bear Paddington arrived in London after his home in Peru was destroyed by an earthquake. The bear is taken in with the Browns and all seems to be looking up for him, until he is spotted by taxidermist Millicent Clyde, played by Nicole Kidman, who has her eye on his hide for her museum.
The second film sees Paddington embark on a quest to catch a thief (Hugh Grant) who has stolen a rare, prized book from an antique shop, which he planned to gift his Aunt Lucy for her 100th birthday.
Whatever the plot, we're sure it'll be a fun-filled family adventure (with a lot of marmalade sandwiches).
What's this about a Paddington TV series?
If you can't wait until the end of next year, in March we learnt Paddington Bear is getting his very own TV series which will see him pack up his suitcase to travel Stateside.
Following on from the success of the two movies, Ben Whishaw is set to return to voice the beloved bear in a brand new show set to air on Nickelodeon next year.
The channel has teamed up with StudioCanal - who created the two flicks - and producer David Heyman to create Paddington, a series aimed at pre-school children.
This new CG-animated series will follow the adventures of a younger Paddington Bear, of which imagery has also been released.
Featured Image Credit: StudioCanal