The third Paddington movie, reportedly titled Paddington in Peru, started filming earlier this year, and a reliable source is now claiming that production is scheduled to wrap in a couple of weeks - but it may do so without one of its biggest stars.
Rachel Zegler (West Ride Story, Shazam! Fury of the Gods) joined the cast back in June as a character named Gina Cabot, but according to Daniel Richtman, the actress parted ways with the threequel when the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes got underway, and has now been recast.
There's no mention of which actress has stepped in to play her part, however.
Zegler's recent comments about Disney's live-action Snow White remake have stirred up a bit of controversy (depending on your point of view, of course), and certain corners of the internet are already claiming that this is why she was "dropped" from Paddington 3 (it isn't, and she wasn't).
The third film will "follow Paddington returning to Peru to visit his beloved Aunt Lucy, who now resides at the Home for Retired Bears. Paddington and the Brown Family embark on an unexpected journey through the Amazon rainforest and up to the mountain peaks of Peru."
Joining returning cast members Hugh Bonneville, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Madeleine Harris, Samuel Joslin, Ben Whishaw and Imelda Staunton, will be Olivia Colman, Antonio Banderas, and Emily Mortimer.
Colman will play the reverend mother, "a blithe and sunny guitar-playing nun who runs the home for retired bears." Banderas will play Hunter Cabot, "a dashing and intrepid riverboat captain who offers to help the Brown family on their Peruvian adventure." Zegler was set to play Hunter's daughter.
Mortimer, meanwhile, takes over from Sally Hawkins as Mrs. Brown.
“For me it has felt the right time to hand the reins over to another, and one can’t get much better than the truly wonderful Emily Mortimer, she is extraordinarily special," Hawkins said in a statement back when the new cast members were announced. "She will embody the essence of Mary Brown and yet make it utterly her own. However, I am, and will always be in love with Paddington’s world. I already greatly miss my on and off-screen family — the experience of making the first two films has truly been some of the best and most creative times I have had in the world of film. They both gave me so much joy. I will forever hold them so very close to my heart indeed."
The director of the first two movies, Paul King, declined to return in order to focus on helming Wonka, so Paddington in Peru will mark the feature film directorial debut of Dougal Wilson.
“I am absolutely delighted to be working with such a wonderful cast on the next installment of the Paddington story," said the filmmaker at the time. "I was already an enormous fan of our returning actors, but for them to be joined by Olivia, Antonio, Emily and Rachel is beyond thrilling."