Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville is reportedly in negotiations to play the live-action lead in Studiocanal's family film Paddington Bear.
Michael Bond's beloved Paddington books are a world-wide success, selling more than 35 million copies in 40 languages. The first book in the bestselling children's series was published in 1958, though the Paddington movie will be a modern adaptation that combines live-action with CGI, similar to box office hits The Smurfs and Yogi Bear.
The story finds the titular talking bear traveling from Peru to London's Paddington Station where he's taken in by an English family that must protect him from the villainous director of the Museum of Natural History, who happens to be a cold-hearted taxidermist.
Hugh, who plays Robert Crawley on Downton, would be playing Henry Brown, the well-intentioned — if somewhat uptight — patriarch of Paddington's new family. You know, a far-fetched call from his Downton character.
Hugh could be in some great company, as filmmakers would like House star Hugh Laurie to voice Paddington. As of now, though, he is not in negotiations.
Source: The Wrap