A new Mr. Bean feature film is set to hit the screens later this year, as revealed by the man that plays the role of the famed character.
Rowan Atkinson is developing a new animated Mr. Bean feature film however, all indicators point to the fact that the actor is ready to retire from playing the character.
Atkinson is an English actor who has since the 90s starred in many projects including the comedy film franchise Johnny English, sitcom Blackadder, etc. But perhaps none of his characters are more well known than the troublemakin persona of, Mr. Bean.
The character Mr. Bean, is a bumbling, boring man who had a knack for getting into unusual situations. The Mr. Bean series was incredibly popular and eventually received some feature-length spinoff films. The show was even adapted into a short animated series in the early 2000s.
In an interview with Deadline, Atkinson explained that he is in the development stages of putting together an animated Mr. Bean film. This format actually seems better suited to both the Mr. Bean character and the actor who plays him. Atkinson told interviewers that though Mr. Bean has been important to his career, he doesn’t actually enjoy playing the character in a live-action setting. “It’s easier for me to perform the character vocally than visually. I don’t much enjoy playing him. The weight of responsibility is not pleasant,” Atkinson says.
With an animated film, that responsibility of playing Mr. Bean will be that much easier for Atkinson to bear. Atkinson also mentioned that he wants to be done playing Mr. Bean soon and that he’s looking forward to the end of his time with the character.
The shift towards animation right now is not just a good move for Atkinson, but also for the Mr. Bean franchise as a whole. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the entire film & television industry has experienced significant delays for live-action productions. While these delays are unfortunate, they have left a space for animators to step in and create new stories without any health risk. The animated Mr. Bean movie will just be one of many films following this trend.
Based on the way he talks about his relationship with the Mr. Bean character, it’s possible that this animated film may be the last Mr. Bean project starring Atkinson. It’s clear that the actor is ready to move away from his old roles and on to new projects. This doesn’t mean that the franchise is dead since the character could always be brought back by a different actor. But if Atkinson is to be believed, this could be his final step in the Mr. Bean saga.