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What worked so well about Bridget Jones’ Diaries is, in a lot of ways, what worked so well for Bridesmaids. Both films featured female characters that were very funny and on some level, relatable to women (especially singles over the age of 30), which is why Paul Feig looked like a good fit to direct the third installment of the Bridge Jones franchise, at least on paper. It doesn’t look like that’ll be happening, but that may be for the best.
According to Deadline, Feig was developing the script with the intention to direct the film, however it was mutually agreed upon by Feig and Universal that he bow out of the project, possibly due to the film being “just a quintessential British comedy that needs a British sensibility.”
That actually makes sense on a number of levels. For one thing, as far as I know, while Fielding may have been at one time (and possibly still is) working on a third Bridget Jones book to add on to the previous two on which the first two films were based, this third film may be independent from (but obviously inspired by) the first two novels. It seems probable that, without a book to base the movie on, the goal for the movie would be to stay true to the characters as their stories continue, since there isn’t an actual novel to use as a road-map for the script.
While Bridget Jones is a character that is relatable to many American women, she’s not an American woman (despite being played by one). And Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) and Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) are British men. The story is set in London. All of this was relevant enough in the first two books and films that, even if the third film had Bridget moving to America (please, no!), the humor should still feel more like a British comedy, as should Jones’ perspective as a British woman, if it’s meant to stay true to the original story. It's as easy to picture Bridget Jones making a fool of herself on an airplane as it is picturing Kristen Wiig's character from Bridesmaids showing up to a party dressed like a bunny-prostitute. But how each character would react in the situation would be very different. Funny, for sure, but different.
As much as I loved Bridesmaids and as excited as I am to see what Paul Feig does next, I’d rather not see Bridget Jones get Americanized/Hollywood-ized in its third installment. If that’s what was happening, then perhaps it really is for the best that Feig departs from the project.
Either way, it sounds like things will still move ahead for the film, with a new director to be brought on board, and production to hopefully get started in January. Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant are all said to be “eager to return.”