How many films can boast a 100% approval rating on reviews aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes with upwards of 200 reviews? The answer is one, and the film is Paddington 2, last year's family smash that has become one of the most acclaimed family releases of all time.
If the original Paddington, released in 2014, was an endearing and delightfully faithful adaptation of Michael Bond's beloved stories, then Paddington 2 achieved the impossible by being even better. Ben Whishaw returned as the voice of the marmalade-loving Peruvian bear, supported as before by the live-action presence of Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins as the Browns, with Hugh Grant on wickedly scene-stealing form as faded actor Phoenix Buchanan.
The two movies between them have grossed upwards of $450 million worldwide, so it's unsurprising a third is now on the cards. Producer David Heyman, one of the wizards behind the blockbusting Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises, has been speaking to Collider about a third movie.
"We’re developing a third Paddington," Heyman confirms. "We haven’t got a script yet, we’ve got a treatment which we’re still working on."
However, he says one key member of personnel is unlikely to return: "I don’t think Paul King will direct the third. He did the first two — he and I are working on another project together... Paul is involved in it, I wanted him to be involved in it because I think he’s such a significant voice, but I don’t think he’ll direct it."
Heyman continues: "He worked on the idea… he comes up with the idea with Simon Farnaby and Mark Burton and then they develop it and come back for more, back and forth, and then it’ll get written and Paul will come in and stir it up a little bit. But he’s an incredible collaborator, Paul. Very positive, very supportive."
That said, Heyman urges caution and says the making of Paddington 3 is conditional on the perfect script: "I hope we get to make it. It’s really fun, it’s a fun idea. I don’t know yet. I don’t want to do it if I don’t think it’s going to be good."
King is said to be attached to Disney's Pinocchio remake and Heyman's proposed Willy Wonka prequel. Heyman meanwhile produces Fantastic Beasts sequel The Crimes of Grindelwald, released in Cineworld on 16th November.