Entertainment & Arts

Paddington Bear set for big screen makeover

Paddington Bear
Image caption The Paddington Bear books were adapted for television in the 1970s

Classic children's character Paddington Bear is to be updated for the big screen by the producer behind the acclaimed Harry Potter films.

David Heyman, who was behind all eight Potter film adaptations, called the forthcoming film "a modern take" on Michael Bond's best-selling books.

"I am delighted at this chance to bring Paddington to the big screen," he said.

The film will incorporate live action alongside computer generated images, and will be directed by Paul King.

"Paddington Bear is a universally loved character, treasured for his optimism, his sense of fair play and his perfect manners - and of course for his unintentional talent for comic chaos," said Heyman.

He added that Michael Bond's books, which have sold more than 35 million copies, were full of "wit and wonder".

'Literary works'

The first book, A Bear Called Paddington, was published in 1958. A further 11 titles followed, the most recent of which was Paddington: Here and Now, published in 2008.

The late Sir Michael Hordern famously narrated the 1970s television series, featuring a stop-motion puppet, while, more recently, Stephen Fry has voiced a series of audio books.

European film studio Studiocanal said it was "thrilled" to be bringing Paddington to the big screen.

"Paddington is beloved across generations throughout the world," said studio chairman Olivier Courson.

"David Heyman has had tremendous success adapting great British literary works for cinema."