Paul King won’t return to direct Paddington 3

Paul King has revealed he won’t be back to direct Paddington 3. The British filmmaker helped bring Michael Bond’s fictional bear to the big screen for the first time with 2014’s Paddington and followed it up with a sequel in 2017. Both films have been…

Paul King has revealed he won’t be back to direct Paddington 3.

The British filmmaker helped bring Michael Bond’s fictional bear to the big screen for the first time with 2014’s Paddington and followed it up with a sequel in 2017. Both films have been critical and commercial successes, with Paddington 2 currently holding the Rotten Tomatoes record for the film with the most reviews to have a 100 per cent approval rating.

In an interview with Empire magazine, King revealed that a third film was in the works but he was stepping down as director to focus on his other projects.

“At some point, you just have to stop. It might be time for somebody else to do a twist on it,” he explained. “I’m trying not to do a third bear movie, which is a huge, huge mistake.”

He admitted that although the movies have been “one of the great treats of my life”, he’s working on “far too much” other material, such as a new collaboration with Paddington 2 co-writer Simon Farnaby and a movie about Willy Wonka.

King, who recently directed two episodes of new Netflix comedy Space Force, will remain connected to the franchise as an executive producer. He confirmed that a screenplay is being written for Paddington 3 and there is much life left in the franchise.

“It’s not like Paddington dies at the end. He doesn’t ascend into the sky on a rocket-powered marmalade jar,” he added.

James Bond actor Ben Whishaw voices the CGI Peruvian bear, who lives in London with his adopted family, the Browns, played by live-action actors including Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, and Julie Walters.

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Kristen Wiig, Sally Hawkins and Maggie Smith board A Boy Called Christmas

Kristen Wiig, Sally Hawkins and Maggie Smith have all signed on to star in A Boy Called Christmas.Back in 2016, executives at StudioCanal and Blueprint Pictures announced they had tapped writer/director Ol Parker to adapt Matt Haig’s acclaimed 2015 nov…

Kristen Wiig, Sally Hawkins and Maggie Smith have all signed on to star in A Boy Called Christmas.

Back in 2016, executives at StudioCanal and Blueprint Pictures announced they had tapped writer/director Ol Parker to adapt Matt Haig’s acclaimed 2015 novel, which follows an 11-year-old boy named Nikolas, nicknamed Christmas, who must travel to the North Pole in order to save his father.

Now, film bosses have unveiled the all-star cast, with Kristen Wiig, Sally Hawkins, Maggie Smith, Jim Broadbent, and Toby Jones all nabbing roles. In addition, Zoe Colletti, Michiel Huisman, Henry Lawfull, Rune Temte, and Indica Watson will appear, with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Gil Kenan to direct. It remains unclear which roles each actor will take on.

Along with StudioCanal executives, Graham Broadbent and Pete Czernin will produce, while the team at Framestore will provide visual effects.

Principal photography is now underway in Lapland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and London, though a potential release date has not yet been set.

“The origin story of Father Christmas is re-imagined in Gil Kenan’s live-action A Boy Called Christmas,” the official synopsis reads. “An ordinary young boy called Nikolas sets out on an extraordinary adventure into the snowy north in search of his father who is on a quest to discover the fabled village of the elves, Elfhelm. Taking with him a headstrong reindeer called Blitzen and a loyal pet mouse, Nikolas soon meets his destiny in this magical, comic and endearing story that proves nothing is impossible.”

StudioCanal will release the film in the U.K, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, and China, while Netflix has the rights for the rest of the world.

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Guillermo del Toro contemplating new adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches

Guillermo del Toro is considering taking on Roald Dahl’s The Witches as his next project.The 1983 novel, about a secret society of child-hating evil witches, was given the Hollywood treatment in 1990, with Anjelica Huston appearing as the Grand High Wi…

Guillermo del Toro is considering taking on Roald Dahl’s The Witches as his next project.

The 1983 novel, about a secret society of child-hating evil witches, was given the Hollywood treatment in 1990, with Anjelica Huston appearing as the Grand High Witch, and Brenda Blethyn and Rowan Atkinson co-starring.

Talking to Mail Online, Guillermo said he was “eating, drinking and thinking philosophically” about four potential new projects, including The Witches. He also still wants to make Pinocchio in stop motion, a feature he has been trying to get off the ground for years.

“I have given myself until September to decide, then I will pick one of the four and prepare to make it,” he revealed.

And his lead The Shape of Water actress Sally Hawkins may well feature in his as yet undecided next project.

Hawkins took on the role of mute janitor Elisa Esposito in the movie, which bagged Guillermo his first Oscar. The film won a further three Academy Awards – Best Picture, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures and Best Achievement in Production Design.

“Every time we meet up or speak on the phone or send an email the word ‘when’ is included. As in: ‘When are we to work together again?!'” he said of the English actress.

The Mexican filmmaker also has two TV projects he created currently in pre-production, Wizards and 3 Below, as well as crime drama Nightmare Alley and a new Michael Mann documentary.

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BAFTAs to go black for #MeToo and Time’s Up movements – report

Former Bond girl Gemma Arterton is leading a charge to make the red carpet at the BAFTA Awards an all-black affair, just like the Golden Globes. Actresses attending the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards, Britain’s answer to the Oscars…

Former Bond girl Gemma Arterton is leading a charge to make the red carpet at the BAFTA Awards an all-black affair, just like the Golden Globes.

Actresses attending the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards, Britain’s answer to the Oscars, have been asked to wear black to support the Time’s Up and #MeToo anti-harassment movements.

A letter sent to nominees, presenters and their representatives, from “a collective of U.K. based female film and television industry leaders”, and supported by Arterton reads: “Inspired by the TIME’S UP movement in the US, we are working to continue the incredible movement this side of the Atlantic. With BAFTA being the first major film awards ceremony in Europe this year, we feel it is important to make a statement to show global solidarity and that the issue is not being forgotten, and to join hands with people across all industries who have experienced inequality and abuse.

“This is why we are inviting you to wear black to the awards ceremony, to follow suit from our sisters who attended the Golden Globes. Wearing black is a strong, unifying and simple statement – a physical and visual representation of our solidarity with people across all industries who have experienced sexual harassment and abuse or have been held back due to an imbalance in power. It is also the easiest colour for the majority to wear and feel comfortable in.”

The open letter continues: “We wanted to personally reach out to you at this point to let you know of the colour code and we will be in touch again with more information, including talking points on why we’re wearing black.

“For men, there are plans for special pins and/or a buttonhole if you would like one.”

The awards will take place at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 18 February (18), and nominees include Annette Bening, Frances McDormand, Margot Robbie, Sally Hawkins, Saoirse Ronan, and Kristin Scott Thomas.

Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley will become the first female to front the awards show since 2001, taking over from Stephen Fry.

Meanwhile, sources tell WWD.com the decision for stars to wear black to the event has left stylists and designers scrambling to find replacement gowns for many top stars, who had chosen to add a splash of colour to the red carpet.

This year’s BAFTA Awards will take place during London Fashion Week, putting further pressure on designers connected to the ceremony.

A spokesman for the awards show tells WWD the BAFTA organisation does not dictate a dress code and people are free to wear what they want to the ceremony.

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Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water hit by plagiarism allegations

Guillermo del Toro has been accused of copying the plot of his film The Shape of Water from the work of a Pulitzer prize-winning playwright. With 13 nominations, The Shape of Water is the most heavily recognised film at this year’s (18) Academy Awards…

Guillermo del Toro has been accused of copying the plot of his film The Shape of Water from the work of a Pulitzer prize-winning playwright.

With 13 nominations, The Shape of Water is the most heavily recognised film at this year’s (18) Academy Awards, earning nods for Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Original Screenplay recognition for Guillermo and his co-writer Vanessa Taylor.

However, the son of the late playwright Paul Zindel has accused Guillermo del Toro of using his work without credit as the plot of the film, which follows a cleaner in a laboratory who falls in love with a sea creature, bears striking similarities to Zindel’s 1969 play Let Me Hear You Whisper.

“We are shocked that a major studio could make a film so obviously derived from my late father’s work without anyone recognising it and coming to us for the rights,” David Zindel, who runs his father’s estate, told The Guardian via email.

Let Me Hear You Whisper, which was adapted for U.S. TV in 1969, features a female janitor in a research laboratory who bonds with a captive dolphin.

A spokesperson for the Fox Searchlight studio, which is releasing The Shape of Water, has denied the Zindel family’s plagiarism claims.

As well as earning Oscars recognition in numerous technical categories, The Shape of Water’s cast also received nods, with Sally Hawkins up for Best Actress and castmates Octavia Spencer and Richard Jenkins

The Shape of Water has been presented as an original idea, but Guillermo has also been accused of borrowing ideas from The Space Between Us, a Dutch short film released in 2015.

After a screening with Guillermo organised by the Netherlands Film Academy to discuss the claims, it concluded that the director had not stolen from the short, saying in a statement that the two works “have their own very different identities” and were “not in any conceivable way interlinked or related”.

Denying he stole ideas from the Dutch movie, Guillermo told the website Hollywood Elsewhere, “What is funny is that I have two movies, Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army, with an aquatic creature inside a super-secret tank in a large laboratory…so that (concept) is not exactly in the province of exclusivity.”

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