Working Title Films have denied yesterday’s reports that actor Hugh Grant has left production on Bridget Jones’s Baby over script problems.
After suffering years worth of delays before finally seemingly coming together to shoot in a couple of weeks, The Hollywood Reporter claimed yesterday that pre-production on the third ‘Diary’ movie had hit a snag over script problems and the film was close to being shut down.
It was reported that Hugh Grant was deeply dissatisfied with how author Helen Fielding and David Nicholls‘s screenplay had shaped up, a long-running issue that had already cost the original director.
Tim Bevan, co-chairman of Working Title released the following statement regarding the rumours;
“Reports that Hugh Grant has exited ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’ are untrue. We are still working on the script, hence the delay to the start of production, but the film is going ahead as planned.”
Grant did sign a deal last year to reunite with Renee Zellweger and Colin Firth for the threequel which will hit theaters eight years after Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (which earned $262.5 million worldwide) and eleven years after Bridget Jones’s Diary (which earned a huge $544.4 million globally).
At this point, with Grant’s star stock the lowest it has ever been in his career and without a hit movie in years, it was surprising when it was reported that he had held the production to ransom. But reports of the problems with Grant have been long-gestating with reports of constant re-writes of the script to include and then not include and then include Grant’s character eventually led to original director Paul Feig, fresh off the 2011 hit Bridesmaids, leaving the project and causing something of a crisis.
Feig was replaced by Peter Cattaneo, who helmed the cult Brit favourite mid 90′s movie The Full Monty, but the reports were that Grant still wasn’t happy. Working Title’s denial of Grant leaving the film but acknowledging the script problems is probably a sign that THR’s scoop yesterday was spot on and it will be interesting to see if Grant stays on board.
The problem Working Title now have is that with filming just weeks away from happening, if another delay is deemed necessary to sort the Grant problem out, they would likely lose Colin Firth who has a busy schedule for the rest of the year and the film could be doomed.
Bridget Jones’s Baby is expected to shoot soon, probably for a release in the festive season. Unless of course there is another delay.