Belfast Telegraph

Paddington 2 producer wants to cut ties with Harvey Weinstein-founded studio

David Heyman said it is “very sad and deeply frustrating” that The Weinstein Company is linked to the Paddington sequel.

The producer of the Paddington sequel has said he hopes to sever the film’s ties with the studio co-founded by disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

David Heyman, who was also behind the widely popular first movie, has said it is “very sad and deeply frustrating” that The Weinstein Company (TWC) could have any further association with the character.

The studio, which found itself at the centre of a civil rights investigation in New York on Monday, is scheduled to distribute the film in North America.

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Heyman, who heads the British studio Heyday Films, said he hopes “The Weinstein Company name is nowhere near Paddington 2”, according to Hollywood industry website Deadline.

“It’s very sad and deeply frustrating that Paddington, who’s been around for more than 50 years, and is always looking for the good in people, and has such a generous, warm-hearted spirit could have any association,” the Londoner, 56, said.

Heyman, who also produced the Harry Potter films, added that he is “sure all options will be explored” after other companies came forward to express an interest in distributing the film.

Weinstein was sacked by TWC and then stepped down from its board of directors after dozens of women accused him of sexual assault and harassment.

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Harvey Weinstein

His younger brother Bob had said TWC’s involvement in Paddington 2 would continue after initial reports detailing alleged sexual abuse and harassment by Weinstein.

The sequel was financed by Studiocanal, which will release it in the UK on November 10, but TWC had planned to release it State-side on January 12.

The first film made more than 76 million dollars (£58 million) in the US after being distributed by TWC and Bob Weinstein had said “we expect even greater success” for the sequel.

Ben Whishaw voices the animated bear while Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins and Peter Capaldi also star on-screen.

New York state’s attorney general Eric Schneiderman announced on Monday that his office is investigating TWC.

A subpoena requested all documents and records relating to complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination at the studio.

Harvey Weinstein, who has “unequivocally denied” allegations of non-consensual sex, is also the subject of criminal investigations in Los Angeles, New York and London.

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