Colin Firth leaves 'Paddington,' picks 'conscious uncoupling' while recording lines

By Daniel S Levine,

When the new trailer for Paddington was released last week, there was noticeably not a single line of dialogue said by the title character, the Peruvian bear who travels to London. That might be because the bear no longer has a voice as Colin Firth announced Tuesday that he has left the project.

The Oscar-winning British actor said in a statement to Empire that the decision was amicable. Firth described it as “conscious uncoupling,” to quote another certain Oscar winner.

“It’s been bittersweet to see this delightful creature take shape and come to the sad realisation that he simply doesn't have my voice,” Firth’s statement read. “After a period of denial we've chosen conscious uncoupling. I've had the joy of seeing most of the film and it's going to be quite wonderful. I still feel rather protective of this bear and I'm pestering them all with suggestions for finding a voice worthy of him.”

Director Paul King said it was a joy to briefly work with the King’s Speech star. However, as work on the project continued, it was decided that Firth’s voice was not right for the iconic Paddington character.

“We are excited about the next chapter for Paddington, ensuring his big-screen debut is magnificent,” King said.

While the new voice for Paddington was not announced, the film is still set to open in the U.K. on Nov. 28. TWC-Dimension is delaying the U.S. release until Christmas day. The human cast features Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent and Peter Capaldi.

image courtesy of ACE/INFphoto.com

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