You’re probably asking yourself, “Who asked for a third “Bridget Jones” movie? I don’t know anyone who saw the second!” Well, you’re probably a filthy, dirty American. “Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason” overcame it’s clunky title to gross $222 million outside of America, a whopping 85% of its global total. It’s taken awhile for the wheels to begin turning on a third film, but “Bridget Jones’ Baby” overcame scheduling setbacks and the defection of director Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids“) to set a coming start date under Peter Cattaneo (“The Full Monty“). However, several people behind the scenes were whispering that the film would be shutdown entirely in the face of script problems.
THR reports a lot of back and forth on the topic, with some declaring the project dead, and others optimistic that it would get in front of cameras before the end of the year. But the main issue appeared to be the dissatisfaction of co-star Hugh Grant, who, one would think, isn’t at the point in his career where he could singlehandedly delay major franchise pictures. Grant is reportedly unhappy with the script, which has been penned by David Nicholls and Helen Fielding, the latter the creator of the “Bridget Jones” book series.
We had heard that Feig’s departure dealt with Working Title‘s lack of clarity regarding Grant’s participation. Apparently, they wrote, and re-wrote, versions of the script with and without his character, as he waffled over salary concerns, eventually leading the “Bridesmaids” director to depart, leaving the production in disarray. While all participants remain signed for the project, Grant apparently has not grown any happier with the material, and, combined with the complex manuvering to free up busy co-star Colin Firth (who could drop out if the production is postponed, necessitating further re-writes), it’s clear that this film is being pulled in multiple directions by tenuous scheduling and a mercurial script.
However, Working Title has issued a statement to Variety acknowledging the script issues, but saying the film is moving ahead: “Reports that Hugh Grant has exited ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’ are untrue. We are still working on the script, hence the delay to the start of production, but the film is going ahead as planned.”
How this plays out remains to be seen but, to the credit of Working Title, better to hash out any issues before the cameras start rolling, than after filming has started (see: “Men In Black 3” for how not to make a a movie). No release date has been set for the film, but providing the screenplay can be worked out and scheduling firmed up, Bridget Jones will be back and eating a tub of ice cream before you know it.