http://www.digitaljournal.com/a-and-e/entertainment/colin-firth-bails-on-paddington-movie/article/387394

Colin Firth bails on Paddington Movie

Posted Jun 22, 2014 by Sylvannia Soulet
Colin Firth revealed he will no longer be the voice of Paddington Bear in the upcoming movie, citing a "conscious uncoupling."
The EMA Award was presented Saturday evening  April 24  2010 to actor Colin Firth by actress Amy Sma...
The EMA Award was presented Saturday evening, April 24, 2010 to actor Colin Firth by actress Amy Smart at the Green Living Show in Toronto.
Mr. Darcy and Paddington are no more.
Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth has ceased his involvement in the upcoming Paddington movie, Entertainment Weekly reports. Firth was to have been the voice of the titular CGI character, but in the end the partnership was not to be.
“After a period of denial, we’ve chosen ‘conscious uncoupling,’” said The King's Speech actor. It’s been bittersweet to see this delightful creature take shape and come to the sad realization that he simply doesn’t have my voice.”
Director Paul King insists that the divorce of Firth from the project was amicable: “I cannot thank him enough for his contribution to Paddington. We love the voice and we love the bear, but as our young bear came into being we agreed that the two didn't seem to fit. So, with somewhat heavy hearts we decided to part ways."
Although a replacement voice has yet to be found, the movie is still expected to be released on schedule — that is, November 28 in the United Kingdom, and on Christmas Day in the United States. The ensemble cast is to include Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent and Nicole Kidman.
Paddington Bear is a much-beloved character in children’s literature. Rivalling Winnie-the-Pooh in terms of popularity, he is well-known by children in the U.K. as the ultra-polite, marmalade-noshing, duffle-coat-wearing bear hailing from “Darkest Peru.”
Firth’s departure has not been the only hiccup in Paddington's production. Initial promotional images for the movie have gone viral, but for all the wrong reasons. Rather than portray the character as a lovable, cuddly, furry guest one would gladly welcome in their humble flat, the CGI rendering of Paddington comes off at best as anything but, at worst an ominous specter of ill intent. The internet meme #CreepyPaddington reinvents the character's kid-friendly persona by photoshopping the bear in the background of several horror-themed movies, from The Ring to The Shining to Psycho.