Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson join the returning all-star cast of Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Madeleine Harris and Samuel Joslin. Ben Whishaw returns as the voice of Paddington and Imelda Staunton as Aunt Lucy. But how popular is this kind of genre of bringing fictional characters to life?
“I think it’s interesting. Apparently Paddington did quite well and it’s quite popular, so I think in part, people like the element.
“Paddington is a metaphor, he is really a child, a young person dressed in a bear suit.”
Paddington 2. Picture: Supplied
Heyman said the bear was a perfect outsider and that’s the theme that runs through the film: “It’s about an outsider, a very relateable outsider because we all feel like outsiders in some way or another. For children and adults too, I think there is pleasure in sort of a fantastical aspect of seeing a bear, as opposed to a person, it sort of makes it a more theatrical and fantastical narrative.”
He said while filming, they treated Paddington as a very real person and character: “It’s funny, because in Harry Potter too, with fantastic beats you try and treat the magic, and treat the fantasy the same and ask all the real questions of what would be the motivation, why would the bear do this, why would it do that, and I think that Paddington is no different, we treat him as a young boy.”
Heyman is an avid reader and most of the films he has produced are based on books. He says it’s all about instinct, but admits he has had his fair share of the ones that didn’t work.
“Sometimes bad books make good movies and good books make bad films, it’s instinct. It begins with characters that I can relate to because, ultimately, films are about people at best, for me anyway.
“You need to find an entry point, you need to find characters you can engage with, that’s the beginning, then they go on a journey that you can enjoy and relate to so, for me, it’s about finding things that I have a connection with, seeing a way through or finding filmmakers who can see a way through to make it into a film.