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'Bridget Jones 3' Producer Admits Delay, Vows to Shoot Film in 2012

Bridget Jones Diary Poster - P 2012

UPDATED: Working Title co-chairman Tim Bevan says the third outing has script issues but remains on track to shoot this year with Hugh Grant, Renee Zellweger and Colin Firth.

LONDON – Working Title Films on Friday acknowledged that production on the third film in the Bridget Jones series has been delayed but vowed to make the movie this year.

THR first reported Thursday that the film, which plans to reunite Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant in a romantic comedy titled Bridget Jones's Baby, had been stopped on the eve of production due to issues with the screenplay. THR reported that Grant was especially displeased with the script, and other outlets followed by claiming that Grant has exited the project. Working Title co-chairman Tim Bevan issued a news release to set the record straight.

“Reports that Hugh Grant has exited Bridget Jones’s Baby are untrue,” said Bevan in the statement. “We are still working on the script hence the delay to the start of production, but the film is going ahead as planned."

STORY: 'Bridget Jones 3' In Trouble As Script Issues Prompt Delay

Grant's publicist also issued a statement on Friday: "Hugh is keen that Bridget Jones 3 happens, but Renee, Colin and he all have some issue with the present script. They are hoping to help work them out."

The third film based on Bridget Jones, a character created by author Helen Fielding, is still on track to reunite the original cast members, but a source close to the project tells THR that cast and crew are being told the delay could stretch into the fall (the film was originally scheduled to start shooting in the next few weeks). Firth, an Oscar winner for The King's Speech, is an in-demand actor, and reconciling his busy schedule to the needs of the production could be difficult. 

David Nicholls and Fielding are credited with the script. Peter Cattaneo (The Full Monty) is directing. Working Title did not say if a new screenwriter would be brought in.

The first film, Bridget Jones’s Diary, was a global success financially and critically when it was released in 2001 (it made almost $282 million worldwide).

The sequel, Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason, released in 2004, took $262 million worldwide, playing especially well internationally.

Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) was originally intended to direct the film but left the project last year over creative differences with Working Title.