Paddington 2 recruits Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson as filming begins

The 2014 sleeper hit's follow-up will arrive next winter

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The Independent Culture

Paddington became an unprecedented blockbuster and BAFTA-nominee following its release in 2014 - and with the upcoming sequel now in production, new casting announcements have been made.

Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson have both signed up to appear in the live-action continuation of the classic marmalade-loving character's big-screen story.

Grant's role is faded actor Phoenix Buchanan, while Gleeson is set to play "Knuckles" McGinty, a safe-cracker who becomes Paddington's unexpected ally.

The majority of the family film's original cast are also returning, including Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville and Julie Walters. Jim Broadbent and Doctor Who actor Peter Capaldi will also be back.

Ben Whishaw is once again lending his voice to the Peruvian bear created by Michael Bond in 1958.

Paddington was directed by Paul King who co-wrote the screenplay alongside Hamish McColl. The film, which starred Nicole Kidman in a villainous role, was nominated Best British Film and Best Adapted Screenplay at the 2015 BAFTAs. 

The sequel, which has been co-written by Simon Farnaby, has officially begun production with a release date set for 10 November 2017. A third film has already been confirmed.

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