Paul King — the British director of Paddington and Paddington 2 — will pass the baton to someone else for the big screen return of the Peruvian bear.
The 42-year-old filmmaker told Empire Magazine that, although the movies have been “one of the great treats of my life”, he is now vacating the director’s chair.
King will remain on board as an executive producer for Paddington 3, but is turning the lion’s share of his attention to other projects.
He added: “At some point, you just have to stop. It might be time for somebody else to do a twist on it.
“I’m trying not to do a third bear movie, which is a huge, huge mistake.”
King admitted that he’s working on “far too much” other material, which includes a new collaboration with Paddington 2 co-writer Simon Farnaby and a long-mooted movie about Willy Wonka.
The Wonka project, first announced in 2018, will be separate from the animated Charlie and the Chocolate Factory series Taika Waititi is making over at Netflix.
He recently helmed two episodes of the Netflix comedy series Space Force.
Read more: Is Space Force based on reality?
King confirmed that a script is being written for Paddington 3 and said the franchise could easily extend way into the future.
He said: “It’s not like Paddington dies at the end. He doesn’t ascend into the sky on a rocket-powered marmalade jar.”
The two Paddington movies, released in 2014 and 2017, brought Michael Bond’s fictional bear to the big screen for the first time, voiced by Ben Whishaw.
Paddington 2 currently holds the Rotten Tomatoes record for the film with the most reviews that has still retained a 100% approval score.
Fans of the friendly ursine have been able to get their fix with the recent Nickelodeon animated series The Adventures of Paddington, in which Whishaw reprised his role.
Earlier this year, a new statue of Paddington was erected in Leicester Square, along with several other beloved figures from cinema history.