Why Third 'Bridget Jones' Film Is Limbo UPDATED

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.

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