If you’re in need of a small burst of joy today, StudioCanal is here to deliver. The company has confirmed that Paddington 3 is officially in the works, four years after the second Paddington film charmed its way into the hearts of movie lovers everywhere.

After years of missing our favorite marmalade-loving mammal, it seems like Paddington 3 might finally happen after all. Representatives from StudioCanal issued a statement to Variety, and it’s one we’ve been hoping to hear for a long, long time: “We can confirm StudioCanal is working very hard on film 3 with the utmost craft and care — as with film 1 and 2.”

There’s been talk about a third Paddington film since 2016, but in 2018, we heard that director Paul King might not return to direct it. That was confirmed in 2020, which is sad news because King brought the perfect combination of heart, humor, and whimsy to the first two films, and he leaves a sizable hole in the franchise. (To me, it’s basically the equivalent of Justin Lin leaving the Fast and Furious franchise after the sixth film.) Although last we heard, King will still be involved with Paddington 3 somehow – we’re just not sure exactly how yet. In the meantime, he’s busy directing Wonka, Warner Bros.’ Willy Wonka origin movie that’s slated for a release in 2023.

Variety points out that last week, during an interview on BBC Radio 2’s The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, Paddington actor Hugh Bonneville said there was “forward momentum” on a new sequel, and that it was “somewhere on the horizon.” Additional details are still being kept under lock and key – StudioCanal is staying tightlipped about potential plot lines or new characters – but one can only hope that the franchise continues in its exponential excellence, especially in regard to its villains. Nicole Kidman was fine as the baddie in the first film, but Hugh Grant did honest-to-God career-best work as fading actor who frames Paddington for theft.

Ben Whishaw (Skyfall) is expected to return to voice the title role, but with Paul King gone, I’m wracking my brain to come up with another director who might be able to recapture that magic from the first two movies. We’ve talked about this on /Film Daily before and came up with Wes Anderson as a potential answer and Taika Waititi as another choice, but Waititi seems especially busy these days, so he seems unlikely. Maybe Anderson would be interested after his upcoming The French Dispatch finally comes out? Probably not! But we’ll see.

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