Bridesmaids Director Paul Feig Exits BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY 3 Because He's Not British

A mutual parting of the ways as Universal, Working Title & Feig believe the threequel needs a British director with British sensibilities to helm the quintessentially British rom-com, that begins filming in January.

After delivering the financially ($286 million worldwide on a $32 million budget) and critically successful R-Rated rom-com Bridesmaids earlier this year, director Paul Feig was seen as the ideal candidate to direct the long-gestating Bridget Jones's Diary 3 that Universal and Working Title have finally got serious about making. Feig has just handed in the most recent draft of the script to the studio and was eager to direct. That was until Universal, Working Title and Feig all agreed he wasn't British enough (or English specifically I suppose) to make a quintessential Brit comedy. Who would have thought it? Deadline reports that a mutual parting of the ways has occurred and Feig will no longer be directing Bridget Jones 3, which is expected to revolve around a mid-life baby crisis and Bridget's desperate attempts to get pregnant now she is the wrong side of 30. Renee Zellweger (who has pushed for the sequel after years of diminishing returns on attempts to re-capture her popularity as a 'ditzy' lead), Colin Firth (who enjoys making these movies and they pay better than Tinker, Tailor) and Hugh Grant (who hates acting but obviously needs to earn money sometimes) will all return. Firth, who plays Bridget's "true love" Mark Darcy, let slip the plot details last year;
€œI can tell you that Bridget and Mark can€™t have children, I think that€™s the way it goes on€ so then she makes the huge mistake of going back to Daniel Cleaver for long enough to get pregnant. And I think he dumps her, and she€™s left stranded, and guess who comes back to rescue her?€
The hunt is now on for a British director so the movie can fullfil it's January start date. Presumably the idea is to get the movie in by Christmas 2012. The original Bridget Jones was directed by Sharon Maguire, a close friend of author Helen Fielding but she has only made one film she the original (Incendiary) and Beeban Kidron helmed the sequel€ but hasn't been spoken of for a return. Of course the prime candidate for Bridget Jones 3 has always been Richard Curtis, who contributed to the screenplay of the original film and is seen the king of the rom-coms with British sensibilities having wrote Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and writing/directing Love Actually. His last film was the ridiculed (and for good reason) The Boat That Rocked two years ago and he hasn't shown much intent to direct since. But he's the fantasy choice, who Universal and Working Title actually end up with is another matter. For Feig, well he's well and truly part of Judd Apatow's family and he's happy enough to be returning to America. He has a few deals brewing. The movie he hopes to make next is a movie thrusting Jon Hamm into a leading role (he played a small part in Bridesmaids) as a obsessed guy fawning over a character played by Melissa McCarthy, who was also in Bridesmaids and seems to be building a nice career for herself post-film. Though Universal (distributors) and Relativity Media (studio) haven't actually given up the ghost on a Bridesmaids sequel but Kristen Wiig is said to the problem as she's not interested. Which is a bummer because she co-wrote and pitched the original which she also led but the hope is her previous dismissal of follow-ups was because she is over-worked and now her last season on Saturday Night Live is coming to an end, she may have a change of heart. Another problem is they (including co-writer Annie Mumolo) don't know where they would go for a follow-up, plot wise. Though the generic thing to do would be another character getting wed. We obviously can't rule out the possibility of Universal just making a Bridesmaids 2 without Wiig, but that's likely to be worst case scenario.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.