Ben Whishaw to replace Colin Firth as voice of Paddington Bear

The Bond star will take over after Firth 'consciously uncoupled' from the role

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The Independent Culture

Bond star Ben Whishaw is the new voice of Paddington Bear after Colin Firth “consciously uncoupled” from the role last month.

The English actor, 33, stepped in after Paddington director Paul King decided that a “slightly more open and younger voice” was needed.

Whishaw, who starred as Q in Skyfall, has been recording the loveable character’s dialogue in London after Firth’s amicable departure from the project.

“He breathes and he speaks and he sounds like Paddington, rather than the most beautiful chocolate-voiced man on the planet (Firth),” King told the Daily Mail, despite Whishaw’s concern that he would be “no good at it”.

Oscar-winning Firth left Paddington because his voice was “too mature” for the wide-eyed Peruvian bear who travels to London looking for a home.


“It’s been bittersweet to see this delightful creature take shape and come to the sad realisation that he simply doesn’t have my voice,” Firth said in a statement.

“After a period of denial, we've chosen conscious uncoupling. I’ve had the joy of seeing most of the film and it’s going to be quite wonderful.”

A trailer released in June does not feature the bear’s voice but hints at plenty of comic misadventures sure to delight children.

Nicole Kidman, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Peter Capaldi and Julie Walters are among the film’s high-profile cast, with Harry Potter and Gravity’s David Heyman producing.

It is believed that Paddington, based on Michael Bond’s books, is still on track for  UK release on 28 November.