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Why Third 'Bridget Jones' Film Is in Limbo UPDATED

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood October 17, 2013 at 1:23PM

UPDATE: Even though Helen Fielding's third book in the Bridget Jones trilogy, "Mad About the Boy," has seen huge first-day sales in the UK (and went on sale stateside October 15), neither Universal nor Working Title have snapped up film rights. (Working Title released the first "Bridget Jones" movie, and Universal the sequel, both worldwide hits.)
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Bridget Jones 2

UPDATE: Even though Helen Fielding's third book in the Bridget Jones trilogy, "Mad About the Boy," has seen huge first-day sales in the UK (and went on sale stateside October 15), neither Universal nor Working Title have snapped up film rights. (Working Title released the first "Bridget Jones" movie, and Universal the sequel, both worldwide hits.)

So what does this mean for poor Bridget, now 51, a mother of two, and gloomy in the shadow of Mark Darcy's death via landmine? THR posits that Renee Zellweger's star has faded (her last film, 2010's "My Own Love Song," didn't receive US distribution), and that Fielding's busy schedule with the book's imminent release in multiple territories has stalled the possibility of a film adaptation for the time being. 

Also complicating matters is Fielding's original screenplay, "Bridget Jones' Baby," obviously set before "Mad About the Boy," which would reunite Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. That film was supposed to shoot in 2012, but was halted.

THR speculates that Working Title could choose to lose "Baby" and instead head for a film version of "Boy" -- with Zellweger, or possibly a new actress.

EARLIER: The perpetually weight- and romance-obsessed Brit "everywoman," Bridget Jones, will return to both page and screen. Author Helen Fielding will reportedly publish a third "Bridget Jones" novel in fall of 2013. A subsequent third film, following 2001's "Bridget Jones' Diary" and 2004's "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason," is also in the works with stars Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant attached. The new installment is titled "Bridget Jones' Baby."

On the state of Bridget, Fielding notes: "She’s still trying to give up [drinking and smoking], she’s still on a diet. She’s trying a bit harder, and is a bit more successful, but she’s never really going to change.”

In addition to looking forward to Jones' pregnancy and baby bumblings, fans of the series can also cross their fingers that the "Bridget Jones" musical, which has been gestating since 2009, will actually come to fruition.

"Bridget Jones' Diary" (budgeted at $25 million) and "Bridge Jones: The Edge of Reason" (budgeted at $40 million) have a collective worldwide box office haul of over half a billion dollars.

This article is related to: News, Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Bridget Jones, News, IN THE WORKS


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.