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Colin Firth Quits Paddington Movie Because Voice Doesn't Fit Bear

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Jun 17, 2014 | 3:20pm EDT

Paddington BearThe Weinstein Company

Oscar winner Colin Firth has quit the film version of kids' TV show Paddington.

Weeks after the first trailer for the film was released, Firth, who was to voice the project's namesake bear, has announced he will no longer be a part of the film. Poking fun at Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's recent split announcement, the Brit tells EW.com, "After a period of denial, we've chosen 'conscious uncoupling'."

He adds, "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. 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."

The setback will not impact on the movie's release date - it is still scheduled to hit U.K. cinemas in November (14) and it will hit the big screen in the U.S. on Christmas Day (25Dec14).

Director Paul King, who is confident he'll be able to announce Firth's replacement in the coming weeks, says, "I cannot thank him (Firth) 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."

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