The sequel follows the adorable bear, who is now settled in London. While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s hundredth birthday, Paddington sees a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber’s antique shop, and embarks upon series of odd jobs to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it’s unto Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief.
Paddington 2 includes a who’s who of British talent including Ben Whishaw as the voice of Paddington, Imelda Staunton as the voice of Aunt Lucy, Hugh Bonneville as Mr. Brown, Sally Hawkins as Mrs. Brown, and Hugh Grant as the Phoenix Buchanan, who Grant described to FANDOM as “washed up, vain, insecure monster of an Oscar.”
“I’m moved by almost any children’s film,” Grant said glowingly of the first film. Writer/director Paul King had the charming and cheeky actor in mind to play the sequel’s villain, so it seemed in the stars for Grant to join.
For his costar Bonneville, who appeared in the original, the sequel represented a step forward.
“In the first film, you didn’t know how it was going to turn out. I was astonished, surprised, and delighted when I saw the finished version of the fully rendered bear,” Bonneville explained. “Going into the second film — that confidence in a three-dimensional character, the detail and the subtlety in the CGI animation — I think is astonishing.”
Naturally, we had to ask him which Downton Abbey character Paddington would get along with most. You might be surprised by his answer, as well as his tips for marmalade sandwiches — Paddington’s favorite food.
Plus, in this bonus interview, King and writer Simon Farnaby talk about Paddington’s evolution in the script and on screen.
Paddington 2 opens January 12 in the U.S. The sequel is already open in the U.K.