Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson

#IrishTalent: Brendan Gleeson joins cast of Paddington 2

Producer David Heyman and STUDIOCANAL have announced the start of principal photography for Paul King’s highly anticipated Paddington 2, revealing that Hugh Grant and Irish actor Brendan Gleeson join the all-star returning cast of Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Madeleine Harris and Samuel Joslin with Ben Whishaw as the voice of Paddington and Imelda Staunton as Aunt Lucy.

The much-anticipated sequel to the worldwide hit family film finds Paddington happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where he has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s hundredth birthday, Paddington spots a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber’s antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief…

Brendan Gleeson plays “Knuckles” McGinty, a notorious safe-cracker and legendary strongman who becomes an unexpected new ally for Paddington. Gleeson received an Emmy award for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in HBO’s‘Into the Storm, and a Golden Globe nomination for In Bruges. Other recent credits include the Harry Potter series, Edge of Tomorrow and Calvary. Upcoming features include Ben Affleck’s Live by Night, Assassin’s Creed, Alone in Berlin, and Trespass Against Us opposite Michael Fassbender, Barry Keoghan, and Killian Scott.

Hugh Grant plays Windsor Gardens’ local celebrity, Phoenix Buchanan, a vain, charming acting legend whose star has fallen somewhat in recent years. Grant is a Golden Globe and BAFTA winner, best known for his memorable performances in films like Love Actually and About A Boy, and was most recently seen in the critically acclaimed Stephen Frears’ comedy drama Florence Foster Jenkins opposite Meryl Streep.

A Heyday Films and STUDIOCANAL production, Paddington’s return to the big screen is helmed by BAFTA nominated director Paul King (Paddington, Come Fly With Me, The Mighty Boosh) written by Paul King and Simon Farnaby (Paddington, Yonderland, and the forthcoming Mindhorn).

Paddington 2 is produced by multi award-winning David Heyman (producer of all eight of the Harry Potter films, Gravity, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them). STUDIOCANAL developed the film, is fully financing and will distribute in the UK, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, and is handling international sales. Paddington is the highest grossing independent (non-US studio) family film of all time grossing $270m worldwide.

Director Paul King commented:

It has been a complete joy to return to the world of Paddington. It was such a delight to see his first big screen adventure embraced by audiences around the world, and I couldn’t be more excited about Hugh and Brendan joining the cast to bring his next outing to life. Together, I hope we can make a film worthy of this most exceptional of bears.

Producer David Heyman added:

I am thrilled to be back in the warm embrace of Paddington Bear, again under the inspired direction of Paul King. And I’m delighted to welcome Hugh and Brendan to our exceptional cast.

Paddington 2 wiil be released in Ireland and the UK on November 10th, 2017.