Hugh Grant Joins 'Paddington 2'

Hugh Grant -  Zurich Film Festival - Getty - H - 2016
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Brendan Gleeson has also boarded the sequel to StudioCanal's box-office smash.

The sequel to the 2014's box-office smash Paddington is underway, with principal photography started and two major names joining the returning cast.

Hugh Grant has joined Paddington 2, playing a vain, charming acting legend whose star has fallen somewhat in recent years.

Brendon Gleeson has also boarded the film as a notorious safe-cracker and strongman who becomes Paddington's unexpected ally.

The story will see the Peruvian bear – now a popular member of his local community at Windsor Gardens – embark on a series of odd jobs to buy a book for Aunt Lucy's 100th birthday. But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief.

Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Madeleine Harris and Samuel Joslin all return from the first CGI live-action outing, with Ben Whishaw again voicing the famous bear and Imelda Staunton voicing Aunt Lucy. David Heyman is again producing, with Paul King back in the director's chair.

Paddington became an unexpected smash for StudioCanal when it hit theaters in the winter of 2014, going on an extended run that would see it amass more than $270 million internationally, making it the company's most successful film of all time, the biggest independent U.K. film of the year and the biggest non-studio family film ever. A franchise was born.

"It has been a complete joy to return to the world of Paddington," said King. "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."

Paddington 2 is due out in the U.K. on Nov 10, 2017. A U.S. date or distributor hasn't yet been announced.