Renee Zellweger in 'Bridget Jones' Diary'

They’re Really Dragging Bridget Jones Out Again, Huh?

We regret to inform you that Bridget Jones has returned once a-gain (British). Renée Zellweger is reprising her role as the English newscaster-turned-mum in a fourth Bridget Jones movie—an improbable statement were anyone to know what the hell to do with Zellweger otherwise.

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As a woman who came of age in the ’90s and ’00s, I am extremely well-versed in Renée Zellweger and Bridget Jones lore, which is why it brings me no joy to report (via THR) that a fourth Bridget Jones movie is officially in development. Zellweger is back, as is Hugh Grant, who apparently learned that there are things more embarrassing than starring in a Bridget Jones sequel (playing an Oompa-Loompa, for one). Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy also stars Chiwetel Ejiofor and White Lotus season 2 fave Leo Woodall and will be directed by Michael Morris, who previously helmed To Leslie—the Andrea Riseborough movie that … you know what, we can’t get into this again.

The script for Mad About the Boy was written by original Bridget author Helen Fielding and based on her book of the same name, which picks up with Bridget four years after the death (?!?!?) of Mark Darcy, her husband and the father of her child, the titular baby of Bridget Jones’ Baby. According to the book synopsis, the sequel sees a middle-aged, widowed Bridget contending with modern problems like “bafflingly complex remote controls,” online dating, and—you know what’s coming—her weight.

Fourteen years after landing Mark Darcy, Bridget’s life has taken her places she never expected. But despite the new challenges of single parenting, online dating, wildly morphing dress sizes, and bafflingly complex remote controls, she is the same irrepressible and endearing soul we all remember—though her talent for embarrassing herself in hilarious ways has become dangerously amplified now that she has 752 Twitter followers. As Bridget navigates head lice epidemics, school-picnic humiliations, and cross-generational sex, she learns that life isn’t over when you start needing reading glasses—and why one should never, ever text while drunk.

Bridget Jones is a self-parodic specter who claws her way out of the IP abyss every so many years to warn women of the comical inevitability of conforming to gender norms, like the cinematic equivalent of the Cathy comics, but weirdly more lacking in self-awareness despite Bridget’s commitment to journaling. Look, we all want more movies with women in leading roles, especially big comedies, but not like this.

It seems that the Bridget Jones sequels will continue until someone casts Renée Zellweger as literally ANYTHING else. You might be tempted to mount the argument that NBC tried to do Zellweger a solid when she was cast in The Thing About Pam, the network’s miniseries adaptation of (I am not kidding) a Deadline special. To which I say: the only thing separating that performance from Bridget Jones is a regional accent and a fat suit—which Zellweger and producers tried to pass off as a more ethical choice than having Zellweger gain weight on purpose, as if not doing either of those things just wasn’t an option.

(featured image: Universal Pictures)


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Author
Britt Hayes
Britt Hayes (she/her) is an editor, writer, and recovering film critic with over a decade of experience. She has written for The A.V. Club, Birth.Movies.Death, and The Austin Chronicle, and is the former associate editor for ScreenCrush. Britt's work has also been published in Fangoria, TV Guide, and SXSWorld Magazine. She loves film, horror, exhaustively analyzing a theme, and casually dissociating. Her brain is a cursed tomb of pop culture knowledge.