The much younger actor is cast after Firth left the project due to his doubt in giving his mature voice to a teddy bear.
The Weinstein Company's "Paddington" has found a voice actor that fits its titular teddy bear. "The Zero Theorem" star Ben Whishaw is brought in to replace Colin Firth and to give a younger sound to Paddington.
Firth voluntarily stepped out of the film when he felt like it was not the right role for him. "He was saying: 'Are you sure I'm right?' He was way ahead of us," producer David Heyman told Mail Online. "Colin was brilliant, but his voice was, ultimately, too mature." He added, "What we needed was a slightly more open, and younger, voice."
Whishaw revealed that he was called in to audition out of the blue. "I resisted a little bit, because I had a bad experience doing this kind of work in the past and I thought I was no good at it. But I was persuaded to go, slightly grudgingly," he told Mail Online. Confessing to being unfamiliar with the bear growing up, he took pride on the role because he could please his 18-month-old niece. "I'm delighted that she'll be able to see it and it'll be my voice. She'll know it's Uncle Ben," Whishaw said.
Whishaw, who was the new gadget expert Q in "Skyfall" and the upcoming "Bond 24" movie, joins Nicole Kidman, Jim Broadbent and Sally Hawkins in the live action/CG big screen adaptation of Michael Bond's beloved children's books. It tells the story of a polite young bear from Peru with an endearing talent for comic chaos, who arrives in London in search of a home.
The pic will be released on Christmas Day in the U.S. but it hits the U.K. earlier on November 28.