Harry Potter producer goes to Paddington
by Naman Ramachandran
11/05/2012 - Heydey Films’ David Heyman (pictured), producer of the immensely successful Harry Potter franchise, is joining hands with StudioCanal to do a modern CGI and live action film take on the much loved British children’s literature series Paddington Bond. Paul King (Bunny And The Bull [trailer]) will direct. King has also scored BAFTA television nominations for directing Come Fly With Me and The Mighty Boosh.
The series began life as a book by Michael Bond, titled A Bear Called Paddington in 1958 and follows the adventures of an immigrant bear from Peru who appears at London’s Paddington station and lives with a British family that adopts him. It was an instant success and there are some 22 books in the series. The books have been translated into 40 languages and more than 30 million copies have been sold worldwide. These have spawned popular television series – 1976’s Paddington, 1989’s Paddington Bear, 1997’s The Adventures of Paddington Bear and 2001’s Paddington Bear: The Early Years.
This is Heyman’s pet project and it was initially announced as a Warner Bros production in 2007 with Hamish McColl (Mr Bean’s Holiday [trailer]) named as the scriptwriter. It was with Warner until late 2011. Heyman had said in an interview at the time, “There’s a budget which we can make it for, and now it’s about going through the process of seeing if we can actually make it for the budget that we’ve been given, so that’s exciting but challenging. At the moment it’s with Warner Bros. we’ll see what happens. There’s a couple of different possibilities…There’s a really talented director called Paul King who has just made one film for almost nothing, he’s worked in television. He’s great.”