Sony Pictures has picked up the U.S., Canada and key international distribution rights for the upcoming sequel, Paddington in Peru, Deadline is reporting. The anticipated live-action/animated comedy will serve as the second follow-up in the movie series, which began with 2014’s Paddington and continued with 2017’s Paddington 2.
Sony has long been interested in acquiring up the domestic and key international distribution rights for the feature from its production companies, Studiocanal and Heyday Films. When the North American rights for the Paddington franchise’s first sequel came up in a $30 million-plus auction, Sony expressed its interested in acquiring it. Sony was one of the studios that bid on Paddington 2, but Warner Bros. ultimately picked up the series’ previous follow-up.
The first two Paddington movies earned over a half-billion dollars at the box office. The franchise has also been nominated for five BAFTA awards so far, including Best British Film and Best Adapted Screenplay for its first two entries, as well as Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Hugh Grant for the second installment.
Music videos and commercials helmer Dougal Wilson is is making his feature film directorial debut on the series’ second sequel. The story for the upcoming comedy was created by Paul King, who helmed the franchise’s first two entries. He was joined by Simon Farnaby and Mark Burton, who also worked on the first two installments. Burton, Jon Foster and James Lamont wrote the screenplay for Paddington in Peru.
The third entry in the franchise is being produced by Heyman and Rosie Alison, with Rob Silva as co-producer. King, Tim Wellspring, Jeffrey Clifford, Anna Marsh, Ron Halpern and Dan MacRae are executive producing the movie.
Paddington in Peru‘s story is currently being under wraps. But the plot is expected to follow the titular bear as he embarks on a new adventure that will take him from his home in London to the eponymous South American country, where he originated from.
Ben Whishaw will reprise his role as the voice of Paddington in the upcoming comedy. Filming will take place on location in London and Peru.
Studiocanal, which is fully backing Paddington in Peru, will release the feature in the UK, France, Germany, Benelux, Australia, New Zealand and Poland. Sony Pictures holds rights for the rest of the world, excluding Russia, China and Japan. Sony, Studiocanal and Heyday were working on the deal before the start of the ongoing Cannes Film Festival, but finalized it this week.
Virginia Longmuir, EVP of Business Affairs and Joe Matukewicz, President of Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions, negotiated the deal on behalf of the studio. Aska Yamaguchi, Head of U.S. and Digital Sales, Anne Chérel, EVP global sales and distribution, and Sophie Leuthreau, Head of Legal and Business Affairs, negotiated the deal for Studiocanal. Heyday and StudioCanal are producing the franchise’s second sequel.