British kid tome comes to bigscreen

Warner Bros. is teaming again with “Harry Potter” producer David Heyman to bring another British kids classic to the bigscreen — “Paddington Bear.”

Hamish McColl (“Mr. Bean’s Holiday”) is writing the screenplay for a live-action movie based on Michael Bond’s series of books for young children about a talking bear who’s adopted by a London family when they find him lost at Paddington Station.

Paddington has journeyed from Darkest Peru, wearing a duffle coat, hat and Wellington boots, carrying a suitcase containing an empty jar of marmalade and wearing a label around his neck that reads “Please look after this bear, thank you.”

His arrival in the household of the Brown family leads to comic mishaps and misadventures for the well-meaning but accident-prone young bear.

Heyman, who is producing through his London-based shingle Heyday Films, commented, “Paddington Bear is a universally loved character, and I have wanted to bring him to screen for some years. Michael Bond’s ‘Paddington’ books have such wit, wonder and charm. Essentially, Paddington’s story is that of an immigrant arriving in London and trying to find a home and a family. Above all, I love Paddington’s unique style of comedy.”

Project was announced by WB production prexy Jeff Robinov.

It will be overseen by the studio’s U.K.-based production VP Ollie Madden, with L.A.-based exec VP production Kevin McCormick. Rosie Alison will supervise for Heyday Films.

Bond published 11 “Paddington” books between 1958 and 1979. They were adapted into a popular BBC animated TV series in the 1970s.

The Warner film will not be adapted from any specific book but will draw inspiration from the whole series. It’s likely to be live action with a CGI bear in the manner of “Stuart Little.”

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