×

Third ‘Bridget Jones’ in works

Cate Blanchett to star in 'Indian Summer'

LONDON — It is rumored that Working Title is developing a third installment of the “Bridget Jones” series starring Renee Zellweger. The British producer has also attached Cate Blanchett to star in helmer Joe Wright’s “Indian Summer.”

News comes as the company’s previously stellar track record for boffo films has hit a bumpy patch, causing the shingle to pinkslip six of its 45 staffers in recent days.

The untitled third “Bridget Jones” pic, which is still in its early stages and probably won’t go into production until the end of next year, will see Zellweger reprise her role as a British publishing exec struggling to find love.

It will likely be based on the weekly columns author Helen Fielding wrote in 2005 for British newspaper the Independent in which Bridget, now in her 40s, attempts to have a baby before it’s too late.

Working Title co-toppers Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan have yet to set a writer or director.

Meanwhile, Blanchett will star as Lady Edwina Mountbatten in “Indian Summer,” based on the book of the same name by Alex von Tunzelmann, about the last days of Britain’s colonial rule of India in 1947.

As previously announced, Fellner and Bevan will produce alongside Hilary Bevan Jones. William Nicholson (“Gladiator”) is penning the screenplay. Lensing is set to begin next year.

As with all Working Title projects, Universal will handle worldwide distribution.

The staff cuts come as Working Title adjusts to the realities of the global economic downturn.

Helmer-scribe Richard Curtis’ “The Boat That Rocked,” which cost upward of $50 million, came in below expectations in the U.K., where it cumed $9.1 million, and elsewhere.

Focus Features is taking over domestic distribution from U and is working with Curtis to create a leaner version of the ensemble comedy for Stateside release. It was due to unspool Aug. 28, but that date has been pushed back to November.

Although Fellner and Bevan would not comment, it is understood that the cuts at Working Title won’t affect its core production, development, finance and legal departments, and the company will still make its average of four features a year.

Working Title’s inhouse development fund, believed to be the largest by some margin in the British film industry and funded by Universal, is also unaffected.

“Tim and Eric are absolutely fine,” said one British producer. “They’ve got this incredible deal with Universal, which still has a few years to run. I find it laughable that some people in the industry here are trying to put them down. They are the British film industry.”

More Film

  • Utopia Hires Danielle DiGiacomo as Head

    Utopia Hires Danielle DiGiacomo as Head of Content (EXCLUSIVE)

    Film executive Danielle DiGiacomo is joining the upstart distribution company Utopia as head of content, Variety has learned. In this new role, she’ll be acquiring movies and developing release strategies for the boutique label, which last year released titles such as the drama “Mickey and the Bear” and Errol Morris’ political documentary series “American Dharma.” [...]

  • Persian Lessons Russian Cinema

    Berlin: 'Persian Lessons' Sold to Cohen Media Group for North America

    Cohen Media Group has acquired North American rights to the Holocaust drama “Persian Lessons,” following its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, where it has become a buzz title. The film was produced after the lead producers met at a Variety “10 Producers to Watch” event in Cannes in 2018, and decided to work [...]

  • SZA, Justin Timberlake Drop ‘The Other

    SZA and Justin Timberlake Drop First Song From 'Trolls World Tour'

    SZA and Justin Timberlake released “The Other Side,” the first song from the upcoming “Trolls World Tour” soundtrack. Of course, Timberlake’s Grammy-winning 2016 hit “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” from the first “Trolls” film, was one of the most massive hits in a career filled with them, and like that song, this one involves co-writer Max [...]

  • German-french Producer Margaret Menegoz Receives the

    Cesar Academy Names Margaret Menegoz Interim President

    Producer and outgoing board of governors member Margaret Ménégoz has taken over as interim president of the Cesar Academy. The new president is to oversee a transition period until a new board is announced in April. Ménégoz, who has produced films for Michael Haneke, Eric Rohmer and Andrzej Wajda under her Les Films du Losange [...]

  • Berlin Alexanderplatz

    'Berlin Alexanderplatz': Film Review

    The twin pillars of Alfred Döblin’s epochal 480-page 1929 German-language novel and Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s deeply influential 15-hour miniseries, first broadcast in 1980, together create an overarching shadow from which Burhan Qurbani’s relatively svelte three-hour contemporary reworking of “Berlin Alexanderplatz” struggles to escape. Although promising a deep-cut dash of contemporary topicality by reimagining the main [...]

  • There is No Evil

    Berlin: Banned Director Mohammad Rasoulof's 'There is No Evil' Lures Buyers (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mohammad Rasoulof’s “There is No Evil,” which is having its world premiere at the Berlinale on Feb. 28, has been sold by Films Boutique to major distributors across Europe. The sixth feature from Rasoulof, the critically acclaimed Iranian auteur facing censorship challenges back home, “There is No Evil” made a big impression on buyers and [...]

  • Bob Iger and Bob Chapek Disney

    How Disney Veteran Bob Chapek Emerged From Dark-Horse Status to Take CEO Job

    When the final act came in the corporate succession drama that has captivated Hollywood for years, it turned out that Bob Chapek was the logical candidate who was hiding in plain sight the whole time. The news that Chapek would succeed Bob Iger as CEO of the Walt Disney Co. hit the entertainment industry like [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content