You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Jones’ musical heads to U.K. stage

Helen Fielding works on show's book, song lyrics

It’s raining musicals in the U.K. film biz.

Following the success of its stage adaptation of “Billy Elliot,” Brit production powerhouse Working Title is developing a live musical version of their hit “Bridget Jones’s Diary” films. Helen Fielding, who wrote the books on which the films were based, is working on show’s book and will contribute to the song’s lyrics.

The role of Jones, a thirty-something “singleton” searching for love and a slimmer waistline, has not been cast yet. Renee Zellweger played the role in the films. She will not be returning for the stage version.

Project, which likely won’t be completed until 2011, is the latest in a slew of musical projects being developed by British film companies.

The boffo performance of “Mamma Mia!” on both stage and screen has Brit film execs racing to get auds tapping their toes and making box office tills sing.

Working Title is also developing “Eurovision: The Movie” with “Borat” screenwriter Dan Mazer and producer Damian Jones. The annual competition — a joke to some nations, a very serious point of national pride to others — brings together pop acts from across Europe to compete for its grand prize, with the winner decided by votes from national juries. Norway won the most recent Eurovision contest, which wrapped May 16.

Mazer’s latest draft is currently out to cast with production set to start by the end of the year.

“Harry Potter” producer David Heyman is working with BBC Films to develop a musical inspired by the works of Burt Bacharach. That project is still in its early stages.

Producer Duncan Kenworthy is working on a remake of “My Fair Lady” with Keira Knightley, schedules permitting, set to play the role of Eliza Doolittle. Project is being developed by Kenworthy’s shingle Toledo Prods. and CBS Films. No director has been set yet on that project.

Former BBC Films topper David Thompson is also developing his own musical comedy “Blame It on the Banghra.” Project, which is directed by Paul Angunawela, is about a young British Asian girl seeking to break into the male-dominated world of bhangra dancing.

“There’s something captivating about seeing people break into song and dance,” said Thompson. “It gives the audience an electric effect and creates an energy and release that is appropriate given the times we live in.”

More Film

  • Brett Leonard Boards 'Elijah'

    Film News Roundup: 'Lawnmower Man' Director Brett Leonard Boards 'Elijah'

    In today’s film news roundup, “Elijah” gets a director, a French fry documentary starts shooting and “Uglydolls” moves its release date forward. PROJECT LAUNCH Brett Leonard, best known for directing ”The Lawnmower Man” and “Virtuosity,” will direct the supernatural feature film “Elijah,” based on the Old Testament prophet. The project is set up at Winter [...]


    SAG-AFTRA Commercial Negotiations Set for February

    With no fanfare, SAG-AFTRA and the ad industry have set a mid-February start for negotiations for a successor deal to the union’s master contract, Variety has learned. The current three-year deal — which covers about $1 billion in annual earnings — expires on March 31. SAG-AFTRA and the Joint Policy Committee of the ad industry [...]


    Oscar Nominee Sondra Locke Dies at 74

    Actress and director Sondra Locke, who received a supporting actress Oscar nomination in her first movie role for “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” died Nov. 3 at 74. The Los Angeles County Public Health Department confirmed her death. She died due to breast and bone cancer, according to Radar Online, which reported that she [...]

  • Clint Eastwood and Alison Eastwood'The Mule'

    Clint Eastwood: Why Alison Eastwood Came Out of Acting Retirement for Her Dad

    Clint Eastwood’s daughter Alison Eastwood was done with acting after appearing in 2014’s “Finding Harmony.” Or so she thought. It was a Friday night and she and her husband were heading to dinner when her father’s producer Sam Moore called. “He [says], ‘You know, your dad wants you to do this film,” Alison recalls. “I [...]

  • 'Dead Women Walking' Review: Uncompromising, Powerful

    Film Review: 'Dead Women Walking'

    The sober and gripping “Dead Women Walking” focuses on the final days of a series of female inmates facing the death sentence. Divided into nine chapters, each inching its way inexorably closer to the moment of execution, the drama turns the fragmentation of its approach to a powerful advantage. Not only do the individual stories [...]

  • Sam Mendes

    Sam Mendes' World War I Drama '1917' Set for Awards-Season Launch on Christmas 2019

    Universal Pictures has given an awards-season release date of Dec. 25, 2019, to Sam Mendes’ World War I drama “1971.” Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners is producing “1917” through its DreamWorks Pictures brand. “1917” will open in limited release on Christmas Day then go wide two weeks later on Jan. 10, 2020. Mendes wrote the script [...]

  • Ventana Sur Queer Latin Film Panel

    Ventana Sur: Panel Talks Merits, Setbacks in Latin Queer Cinema

    BUENOS AIRES — Four venerable professionals from the cinema world joined on Monday evening for Queer Cinema In Latin America, a frank discussion on Latin America’s role within the queer filmscape for Ventana Sur’s Industry conference series held at the UCA campus in Buenos Aires. Touching on advancements in character arc and notable achievements in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content