Sixteen years after the first Bridget Jones novel was released, author Helen Fielding says she is revisiting the famous character’s life. But this time, it will be different.
For many singletons (in the U.K., the U.S. and all around the world), reading about Bridget Jones is a rite of passage, and Friday, author Helen Fielding announced she is writing a third novel in the series. But Bridget Jones 2 was released 13 years ago, and the original Bridget Jones’ Diary came out in 1996, so the story’s fans have to hope that she is not still single.
However, Fielding is not sharing many details, only hinting that Jones’ life will have happened in real time.
“The new novel is set in present-day London, with an entirely new scenario for Bridget,” Fielding told The Guardian. “If people laugh as much reading it as I am while writing it, then we’ll all be very happy.”
Fielding added that while the first two books were based on her weight, alcohol units, cigarettes and other measurements, this new book would be based on more modern measurements.
“It’s more like, ‘Number of Twitter followers: 0. Still no followers. Still no followers,'” she told The Guardian. “But she has grown up. My life has moved on, and hers will move on too. She’s still trying to give up [drinking and smoking]; she’s still on a diet. She’s trying a bit harder and is a bit more successful, but she’s never really going to change.”
Fielding is working on a third Bridget Jones film, but she doesn’t say how closely related it is to the novel. She is also working to bring a musical of the story to the stage. But overall, with the new book, she wants to stress how people date in the new world of technology and communications.
“In the same way as the first Bridget book was looking at the way a 30-something, single woman was branded as a tragic spinster, and then we got the new idea of a singleton, [the new book] will be looking at later phases in life when you get branded as a certain thing, and you don’t have to be that at all, and it’s all outdated and ridiculous. I’m having a lot of fun, and it’s very funny, and it’s making me laugh. It’s a bit scary, bringing out another one, but I’m really enjoying writing it,” Fielding said.
The author doesn’t hint at which characters may remain, but she does say things will change with the new book. Renee Zellweger did sign on for the third film last year, but it sounds like the new novel may be a completely different idea from the film.