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Patrick Dempsey: Bridget Jones' Baby first post-Grey's project

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Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

McDreamy is headed to the big screen.

EW has confirmed that Patrick Dempsey, whose Grey’s Anatomy character was killed off last season on the ABC drama, is about to close a deal to star in Bridget Jones’s Baby. As first reported by Deadline, the movie is the much-anticipated followup to the Renee Zellweger franchise that’s based on the popular Helen Fielding books.

It’s not clear who Dempsey will play in the latest iteration but Zellweger is expected to reprise her role as Bridget, who is now a 40-something publishing executive. Colin Firth will also return as her love Mark Darcy. Hugh Grant will not come back but Sharon Maguire, who directed Bridget Jones’s Diary in 2001, will return to helm the project.

Deadline says production on the Universal flick will begin in a few weeks, and that Fielding wrote some drafts of the screenplay with David Nicholls (One Day). 

When EW interviewed Dempsey exclusively in April, the actor said he “wanted to try something different” after acting on broadcast TV for so many years. Producing appeals to him and, as such, he already has two small-screen projects in the works: a drama called The Limit for SundanceTV (which he described as “Mad Men in the racing world in the 1960s”) and a travelogue spy thriller called Fodors

As for future acting gigs, Dempsey expressed some concern over whether he could shake his image as McDreamy, a role he played on Grey’s Anatomy since 2005. “Will I be allowed to do something different? Is Derek so identifiable that I can’t go on and be someone else? That will be the challenge. To see if people embrace me as someone else.” 

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