It looks like fan reaction might’ve hurt Paddington. After a trailer for the movie was released over the weekend, Entertainment Weekly has reported that the voice of the titular bear, Colin Firth, has split with the film while still in production.
In a quote to EW, the Oscar-winning Firth stated, “After a period of denial, we’ve chosen ‘conscious uncoupling,’”
Fan reaction from the trailer has been mixed at best, with many saying that the heart of the beloved children’s stories is no longer there. However, Firth stands firm that it isn’t a creative choice, but a mutual one between him and the production company.
“It’s been bittersweet to see this delightful creature take shape and come to the sad realization that he simply doesn’t have my voice,” Firth said. “I’ve had the joy of seeing most of the film and it’s going to be quite wonderful. I still feel rather protective of this bear and I’m pestering them all with suggestions for finding a voice worthy of him.”
The release date hasn’t changed, but the trailer will probably be taken down for now or updated with a new voice soon. For those in the United States, that’ll be Christmas Day.