The adorably anthropomorphic marmalade-eating bear known as Paddington is perhaps one of the most recognisable and beloved British pop-cultural icons of all time.
His first cinematic outing back in 2014 put him back in the spotlight where it was only fitting that he was joined by a cast brimming with great British talent from all over the nation.
On 10th November, Paddington and friends will be making their big-screen comeback when Paddington 2 arrives in Cineworld but this time they’ll be joined by a whole lot more amazing home-grown talent.
In addition to what we expect to be a phenomenal film, Paddington 2 will be a showcase of iconic British talent. Just bear with us a moment as we rundown (just some of) the great Brits who you can expect to see in Paddington 2 later this year.
Ben Whishaw – Paddington
With a seriously impressive career in both British television and film with appearances in London Spy, The Danish Girl, The Lobster, Suffragette, In the Heart of the Sea, Queers and A Hologram for a King, but perhaps better known as Q from the latest batch of Bond movies, Whishaw is undoubtedly one of the most talented actors at the moment.
Moreover, his irresistible charm and endearing compassion makes him ideal for the voice of Paddington; we wouldn’t have bothered spending thousands on creating a CGI Paddington, we’d just have put Whishaw in a blue coat and red hat. He’s that good, nobody would’ve noticed the difference. (Indeed, it's hard to imagine how original choice Colin Firth would have fared in the role.)
Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins – Mr and Mrs Brown
Between them, Bonneville and Hawkins have appeared in countless British classics including Happy-Go-Lucky (which won Hawkins a Golden Globe) and Notting Hill as well breaking into major Hollywood projects such as 2014’s Godzilla and The Monuments Men.
Paddington wasn’t the only time this pair have worked together, however, as both featured in the heart-warming BBC Christmas short Stick Man. In Paddington, Sally Hawkins and Hugh Bonneville worked perfectly together; with Hawkins’ happy-go-luckiness contrasting against Bonneville’s cautiousness, the pair made for a cracking comedy duo
Seeing these two again in Paddington 2 is certainly enough of a reason to be excited for Paddington’s next adventure.
Peter Capaldi – Mr Curry
Glasgow-born Peter made his mark on television as the hilariously foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It and has since been catapulted further into stardom when he took on the role of Doctor Who.
In Paddington, Capaldi played bumbling, suspicious neighbour Mr Curry (in his best English accent) who provided excellent comic relief when he mistakenly got involved with the villains. After redeeming himself before the climax, however, we cannot wait to see how Mr Curry’s new-found friendship with Paddington will impact Paddington 2.
Jim Broadbent – Mr Gruber
Antique shop owner Mr Gruber sympathises with Paddington's initial loneliness, having been a stranger to British shores himself at first.
Gruber is played by none other than Jim Broadbent (Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and Gangs of New York), one of Britain’s most established actors who has a career spanning almost half a century.
Broadbent has been consistently phenomenal throughout his career and, although he’s taken a lesser role in Paddington, there’s no telling how he’ll be involved in Paddington’s new adventure. Whatever his involvement may be, we know that he’ll be a treat to watch.
Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson – Phoenix Buchanan and 'Knuckles' McGinty
Paddington 2 will see In Bruges scene-stealer Gleeson play a skilled safecracker and unexpected ally “Knuckles” McGinty whereas Notting Hill's Grant will play Phoenix Buchanan, a vain acting legend who’s started to become a has-been.
With acting heavyweights of the calibre of Grant and Gleeson joining the ranks of an already incredible all-British cast, their star power is bound to make a bright series shine that much brighter.
Sanjeev Bhaskar – TBC
A look at the casting for Paddington 2 reveals that Sanjeev Bhaskar will be another new face joining the team but it’s unclear exactly what his role will be.
Bhaskar is a comedian and writer known best for his work on the hit television series The Kumars but he’s also appeared in a variety of roles big and small throughout the years including the lead elf in Arthur Christmas as well as a small bit-part in Notting Hill - he was one of the men in the restaurant involved in a rather lewd conversation.
Whatever Bhaskar’s role will be in Paddington 2, we know that he’ll bring his own unique wit to it to make the film that little bit more special.
Paddington 2 is released on 10th November.
Andy Murray is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.