The hotly-anticipated Paddington 3 will begin production next year, its studio says, in the third cinematic outing for the marmalade-loving bear.

Confirmed to be going ahead in February, the film will follow on from the critically and audience-acclaimed Paddington 2, regarded by some as one of the greatest movies of all time.

The announcement of the impending threequel came from Cannes, where StudioCanal updated festival-goers on its slate of upcoming films.

In what is likely to be a relief for fans, the writing and production team that made the previous two films are back on board, but the plot, cast and filming location is being kept tightly under wraps.

Paddington himself is voiced by Ben Whishaw, while Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins play the family that take him in.

Previous cast members have included Peter Capaldi, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant – who won praise for his role as the villainous washed-up actor Phoenix Buchanan in the second film.

The latest film adaptations of the Peruvian bear’s story have been box office smashes, jointly taking around $500m (£362m) at the global box office.

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The second outing remains one of the highest scoring films on review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, only recently losing its 100% positive review record.

Colin Firth was originally due to voice the bear himself, but bowed out in a “conscious uncoupling” and was replaced by Whishaw late into the project.

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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, which told how he was packed off from darkest Peru and made his way to Britain where he was adopted by the Brown family.

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