Colin Firth and the makers of the upcoming live-action/CGI hybrid Paddington movie amicably parted ways after agreeing that his voice was “too mature” for this younger version of the iconic character.

Harry Potter producer David Heyman and Paddington director Paul King have since been on the hunt for an actor with a, “slightly more open and younger voice,” and they’ve chosen Skyfall star Ben Whishaw.

Heyman admits that Firth was never quite convinced that he was the right choice for the role. “He was saying: ‘Are you sure I’m right?’ He was way ahead of us. Colin was brilliant, but his voice was, ultimately, too mature.” Whishaw (who recently received a lot of praise for his portrayal of Hamlet at the Old Vic) was shocked to be asked to audition and reveals that he had some doubts about taking on the part.

“I resisted a little bit, because I had a bad experience doing this kind of work in the past and I thought I was no good at it. But I was persuaded to go, slightly grudgingly,” the actor says, adding that when growing up he had “no relationship to Paddington whatsoever, other than that I knew he wore a duffle coat and a hat.”

However, he is excited for his young niece to be able to hear him voice the lovable Paddington Bear, revealing that “I just see what they’ve done on screen, which is really beautiful and very exciting.”

The movie’s director is very pleased with Whishaw’s performance so far, stating: “He breathes and he speaks and he sounds like Paddington, rather than the most beautiful chocolate-voiced man [Firth] on the planet.”

Paddington is set to be released in the UK on November 28th and in the US on Christmas Day.