A few years ago I sadly brought word that Paddington Bear would get a CG makeover a la Garfield and Alvin and the Chipmunks. Now, as the latter's "squeakquel" rakes in hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office, I've finally got an update for you on the dreaded adaptation of Michael Bond and Peggy Fortnum's classic children's books. And surprisingly, I'm not really dreading it anymore. According to The Sun, Paddington Bear is currently being co-written by The Mighty Boosh director Paul King and will co-star the British show's star, Noel Fielding.

King is collaborating on the script with Hamish McColl (Mr. Bean's Holiday), but it's not clear if he would direct this as a follow-up to his feature debut, Bunny and the Bull (see the amazing trailer to that film here). Last fall, King mentioned to IndieLondon that he sought out the gig and showed part of Bunny, which he says has elements reminiscent of the Paddington books, as evidence that he was right for the film. That sounds like Paddington's producers (including Harry Potter honcho David Heyman) probably liked the look of King's movie, too, and would likely let him direct. The Sun notes that Paddington Bear is going to be stylistically akin to Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are, and King's Michel Gondry-esque visuals would probably suit that goal, as well.
Here's where it gets strange, though: Fielding has been cast as Paddington's cousin, a half-man-half-beast from Peru. I don't recall any cousin in the original stories, but it sounds like this would be the son of Aunt Lucy, Paddington's former guardian who went to live in an old bear's home in Lima. Reportedly, Fielding will also contribute to the look of the film, as he has done on The Mighty Boosh.

Seems like this isn't going to be just another lame CG kids movie after all, though I can understand if non-Boosh fans still see it as a potential ruination of another beloved classic character. Following my surprise with and love for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs -- in spite of extremely low expectations due to it being so loosely based on my favorite children's book -- I'm ready to give anything the benefit of the doubt, and I urge others to have an open mind as well. Paddington Bear, tentatively scheduled for a 2010 release, should be another really fun adaptation.

[via I Watch Stuff]