Stop what you are doing. It’s just been confirmed that Paddington 3 is going into production early next year.

StudioCanal confirmed that filming will start in the second quarter of 2022, which means roughly around April, May or June.

A release date for the project is currently unknown, but it’s likely to be hitting cinemas in late 2023.

The news was announced during the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday.

The third instalment will follow on from Paddington 2, which many believe to be one of the greatest movies of all time.

The critically acclaimed sequel remains one of the highest-scoring films on Rotten Tomatoes, only recently losing its 100% record.

Fans will be pleased to hear that the original writing and production team behind the first two films are returning for the latest movie.

But the plot, cast and filming locations are all being kept tightly under wraps.

Director Paul King, the driving force behind the original film and its sequel, will return as an executive producer.

However, he will not return to direct as he is currently working on Wonka with Timothée Chalamet.

It’s safe to assume that James Bond star Ben Whishaw will return to voice Paddington.

While it’s also likely Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville and The Shape Of Water’s Sally Hawkins will return as his family.

Previous stars of the franchise include Hollywood legends Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant and former Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi.

Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth was the first actor chosen to play Paddington in the movie.

The Mamma Mia star pulled out as he said he had been unable to find the right voice for the Peruvian bear.

Firth said in a statement: “After a period of denial, we’ve chosen ‘conscious uncoupling’.

“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.”

Paul King, the film’s director, explained: “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.”

Whishaw eventually snagged the role of the beloved bear – despite initially turning it down.

He explained: “I said no the first time. I just thought I’m not very good at doing voices, I can’t do it and I don’t think I’ll be right for it.”

King sent the actor “a very sweet note,” asking him to reconsider. And thankfully he did.

Interestingly Whishaw actually hates Marmalade, he explained: “I really don’t like it at all.”

Paddington Bear was created by Michael Bond and named after the London station where he was found.

He first appeared in 1958 in the book A Bear Called Paddington.

The story explains how Paddington travelled from darkest Peru to London where he was adopted by the Brown family.

Bond died in 2017 and the second film was dedicated to him.

Are you looking forward to watching Paddington 3?

Image by StudioCanal