'Bridget Jones 3' In Trouble As Script Issues Prompt Delay (Exclusive)

5:39 PM PST 02/02/2012 by Borys Kit, Matthew Belloni
Universal Pictures

The Working Title movie, starring Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant, was scheduled to begin shooting in the next few weeks under the direction of Peter Cattaneo.

Bridget Jones’ Baby, the third installment of the Bridget Jones romantic comedy series, has run into script problems and is being delayed.

The Working Title movie, starring Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant, was scheduled to begin shooting in the next few weeks under the direction of Peter Cattaneo (The Full Monty). But multiple sources close to the production tell The Hollywood Reporter that script issues have caused the creative team—especially Grant—to ask that the movie be delayed. Any stoppage, however, could lead an indefinite, if not permanent, shutdown.

“It’s basically dead,” says one insider. Another source, however, says the script problems will be worked out and "the movie will definitely shoot sometime this year."

According to several insiders, Grant has been especially vocal in his displeasure with the script, credited to David Nicholls and author Helen Fielding. It's unclear whether he refused to shoot the film (his deal is signed, says a source) or whether he simply expressed his dissatisfaction. Regardless, producers have decided not to proceed until the issues can be resolved. A Working Title rep declined to comment. A Grant rep did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This isn’t the first roadblock the production has hit. Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) was attached to direct the project last year and even worked on the script. But Feig left the movie in the fall amid creative differences with Working Title. That led to Cattaneo’s hiring.

At this point, the cast is still on board to reprise their roles in the film, in which Zellweger's character hits her 40s an wants to have a baby. But any significant delay could jeopardize their availability. Firth, who has since become an Oscar winner for The King's Speech, is an especially in-demand actor. His name has surfaced in connection with several gestating projects, including Atom Egoyan's The Devil's Knot, a feature based on the West Memphis Three case.

Bridget Jones’ Diary, an adaptation of the best-selling book by Fielding, was a global success both financially and critically when it was released in 2001 (it made almost $282 million worldwide). Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason, released in 2004, didn’t fare as well critically but made $262 million worldwide, the majority of that internationally.

Email: Borys.Kit@thr.com

Twitter: Borys_Kit

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