Who is essential, as an actor, to Bridget Jones 3? Surely, Renee Zellweger would be looked at to reprise her role as the central character. Colin Firth and Hugh Grant also should be deemed necessary if a third Bridget Jones is going to try to get off the ground. Well, Grant’s out, and he just told the media why he officially has decided to pass.
"I decided not to do it," Hugh Grant admitted to Free Radio in an interview (snagged by The Telegraph UK) when asked if he would be up for reprising his role of Daniel Cleaver in an adaptation of Helen Fielding’s latest Bridget Jones novel, Mad About the Boy. Said Grant:
I think they’re going to go ahead and do it without Daniel. The book’s excellent, by the way, but the script is completely different – well, the script as I last saw it a few years ago."
Empire adds that Hugh Grant had put in for script rewrites a while back, but that it now appears that "no common ground could be found," so he officially has removed his name from the project… which is still in some form of development hell.
This all sort of begs the question: Has too much time passed since the last Bridget Jones movie, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, opened in 2004? The movies based on Helen Fielding’s novels made money at the box office, though the $40 million domestic take of Edge of Reason was far less than the $71 million earned by the initial Bridget Jones movie in 2001. And should they even be trying to do a third movie if the whole crew isn’t going to get back together? Maybe Hugh Grant’s exit from the project will be the large pinprick that starts to deflate the balloon of Bridget Jones’s third film?
The changes in the script probably have to do with the handling of Colin Firth’s character, Mr. Darcy. SPOILER ALERT for those who haven’t read Mad About the Boy yet. Fielding kills Darcy off, then follows Bridget as she tries to recover. Rumors suggested that Firth’s character would be spared in the third film, and maybe that’s the element with which Grant disagreed? We may never know. While Colin Firth remains a major movie star, Renee Zellweger hasn’t been in anything of note since 2005’s Cinderella Man. Can she make a comeback without Grant? We may find out.