Colin Firth Drops Out of ‘Paddington’

Colin Firth has ditched “Paddington.”

TWC-Dimension confirmed that Firth will no longer voice the talking, accident-prone young bear Paddington, with the British thesp asserting that he was unable to find the right voice. The film, produced by “Gravity” and “Harry Potter” producer David Heyman, stars Nicole Kidman, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi and Julie Walters.

Trailers released so far have not included a voice for Paddington.

“Paddington” follows the comic misadventures of the bear from darkest Peru who’s found at Paddington Station and adopted by a London family. StudioCanal financed and is distributing in the U.K., France and Germany; TWC is distributing in the U.S.with a Christmas released date.

Firth, in a statement to Entertainment Weekly, said, “It’s been bittersweet to see this delightful creature take shape and come to the sad realization that he simply doesn’t have my voice. I’ve had the joy of seeing most of the film and it’s going to be quite wonderful. I still feel rather protective of this bear and I’m pestering them all with suggestions for finding a voice worthy of him.”

Director Paul King said he’s seeking another voice actor, adding that the split with Firth was amicable.

“I cannot thank [Firth] enough for his contribution to Paddington. We love the voice and we love the bear, but as our young bear came into being we agreed that the two didn’t seem to fit. So, with somewhat heavy hearts we decided to part ways.”

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