Renée Zellweger to Reprise Titular Role in ‘Bridget Jones 4’

Renée Zellweger to Reprise Titular Role in ‘Bridget Jones 4’
Courtesy of Working Title

Renée Zellweger is set to reprise the titular role in Universal Pictures’ and Working Title’s upcoming romantic comedy, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The feature will be the fourth entry in the beloved film franchise, for which the actress has been nominated for an Oscar, a BAFTA, two Golden Globes and a SAG Award.

Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson are also confirmed to return to the series. The actor, who didn’t appear in the third installment, will reprise his role of Daniel Cleaver in the franchise’s next sequel. The actress will return as Bridget’s despairing obstetrician, who did appear in the last entry.

They’ll be joined on screen by series newcomers Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, Love, Actually) and Leo Woodall (The White Lotus, One Day). The latter is expected to play Bridget’s younger love interest as she faces dating again.

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy will be directed by Michael Morris (To Leslie, Better Call Saul). The franchise’s third follow-up will be adapted from English novelist Helen Fielding’s best-selling book of the same name. She has also written the script for the screen adaptation.

The production studio has not revealed how closely the new movie will follow the storyline of its source material. In the novel. Bridget is in her 50s and a single mother to two children, after being widowed following the death of Mark Darcy.

When the book was published in 2013, the scribe told BBC News she had written it in secret so that she wouldn’t feel the pressure of fan expectations and “so that I could write it like the first one.”

Fielding also explained why she decided to write Mark Darcy, who was played by Colin Firth in the first three film, out of the series; she said she didn’t want Bridget to become “a smug married,” a fate deemed utterly unsatisfactory by Bridget’s earlier musings

The firs three Bridget Jones movies – 2001’s Bridget Jones’s Diary, 2004’s Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and 2016’s Bridget Jones’s Baby – have been massively successful. Combined, they have garnered more than $760 million at the worldwide box office.

Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Jo Wallett will produce the next sequel through Working Title Films. Amelia Granger and Sarah-Jane Wright are executive producing the feature for Working Title Films. Helen Fielding will also executive produce the project, which Miramax is co-financing.

Senior executive VP of production development Erik Baiers and creative executive of production development Jacqueline Garell will oversee the comedy on behalf of the studio. Numerous London Screen Academy trainees will be working on the project across several departments.

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy is set to debut in theaters globally on Valentine’s Day next year. The film will also begin streaming on Peacock in the U.S. the same day.

The movie will mark Zellweger’s first on-screen performance since she played the eponymous role in the 2019 biopic, Judy, for which she won her second Academy Award. She received her first Oscar nomination in 2002 for her performance in the original Bridget Jones screen adaptation.

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