Gracing Entertainment Weekly‘s most recent cover is none other than the cast of the upcoming Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason sequel, Bridget Jones’s Baby. The movie’s not out until September 16 of next year, but no matter; what is time when you’ve got Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, and Patrick Dempsey squished together on one magazine cover, gleaming, clutching a massive teddy bear?
When we last left Bridget (Zellweger) in 2004’s The Edge of Reason, our favorite hot British mess was engaged to Mark Darcy (Firth), the most perfect man alive, who loved her just as she was. She’d just narrowly escaped life in a Thai prison, thanks to Mark — so not only did she owe her actual life to him, but she loved him, and they were happy, and everything was going to be great, and we didn’t have to worry about her f*cking anything up again. As such, we bid adieu to Bridget as she sailed off into the (metaphorical) sunset, wishing her well, knowing both her literary and cinematic stories were finished, but we’d be able to continue our yearly tradition of rereading Bridget Jones’s Diary in the bathtub with a giant bottle of wine and a bucket of fried chicken (…just me?).
But then Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy happened. Helen Fielding, the brilliant brain behind the first two Bridget books, was somehow convinced (with money) to pen a third book in 2013, a book in which Mark Darcy was DEAD (!!!) (I’m still not over this) and Bridget was forced to raise her two children on her OWN (!!!). The basis of the third novel was in such direct opposition to the spirit of the first two books that it offended me when I actually sort of enjoyed it. Fielding could write a vegan cookbook in German and I would enjoy it. The fan consensus after the fact, though, was “no more books,” i.e., “please stop retroactively cocking up the Bridget Jones series.”
Things only got further cocked up from there, though. Soon after the book’s publishing, rumors of a third movie abounded, one that, confusingly, wouldn’t be based on the third book, but instead would follow a pregnant Bridget who had not devastatingly lost the love of her life. But as the movie floundered in development, other, more insidious rumors popped up, too: That Fielding and Zellweger were feuding, that Hugh Grant backed out of the movie because he didn’t like the script, that it wasn’t smart to eat so much fried chicken at once, especially while submerged in water.
EW‘s cover story confirms almost all of the above: In Bridget Jones‘s baby, Zellweger will play a 43-year-old Bridget who’s single again, and “in a bit of a pickle,” as she’s pregnant, but doesn’t know who the father is. It might be Darcy, but it might be a “hot new billionaire,” also named Mark (wow, they really are trying to confuse the hell out of us), who is “way more of a threat to Mark […other Mark] than Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) ever was.” All right.
For her part, Zellweger sounds like she’s been media-trained to death about this new movie and the bizarre direction it’s taken: “This is part of the new challenge, discovering where she is now in her new life,” Zellweger tells EW. “But as an actress, it feels like stepping back with an old friend. I love this character, I like that she tells stories about what it’s like to be a woman and these really relatable situations at certain times in life. It’s so right to tell a story about Bridget in this stage of her life.” Again, all right.
EW promises more intel in its full cover story, which should be online sometime this week. Here are the questions they promise to answer (pulled from the site verbatim, bracketed comments mine):
- Was the movie based on Fielding’s third Bridget Jones novel, Mad About the Boy? [Clearly not.]
- Who came back to reprise their roles from the first and second novels? [Not Hugh Grant. What else is Hugh Grant doing, though, really?]
- Holy low-carb diet! Whose idea was it to have Zellweger’s Bridget look so lithesome? [Stop this line of questioning immediately.]
- Why does Dempsey seem so happy to be off Grey’s Anatomy? [What?]
- Why do Zellweger, Firth, and Dempsey talk like they don’t know how the movie is going to end? [Because they can’t tell you how the movie ends.]