Colin Firth is perhaps out of a job. In an article published on the front page of Britain's Sunday Times, author Helen Fielding revealed that her beloved character Bridget Jones' beloved love interest Mark Darcy (played in the films by Firth) is dead in the upcoming third installment of the series. (The Brits don't seem that concerned about spoilers, apparently.) 

In the book, which is titled Mad About the Boy and is due out next month, Bridget is now a 51-year-old single mother of two dating a 30-year-old guy named, get this, Roxster. Excerpts in The Sunday Times reveal that Darcy died five years prior: "Five years. Has it really been five years? Oh Mark. Mark. What am I doing? Why did I start all this? Why didn’t I just stay as I was. Sad, lonely, workless, sexless but at least a mother, a widow and faithful . . ." Of course, she's also the same old Bridget, writing about weight, sex, and smoking. 

I will not: lie in bed in the morning thinking erotic thoughts; ever be late for the school run; do V-signs at people during school run; chew more than 10 pieces of Nicorette per day; hide empty wine bottles; eat more than three Big Macs or Starbucks ham-and-cheese paninis per week; wang around hysterically when things go wrong . . . But how can I accept what happened?

Of course, fans were outraged, and took to Twitter to voice their sorrow. The UK based VOD service Blinkbox even devised a gravestone for Darcy who "passed away peacefully for plot reasons." 

For Suzanne Moore, writing at The Guardian, the announcement was a way to complain about Fieldings' brand of feminism. "Poor Ms Jones, still hiding her cleverness, putting up with crap from Cleaver and worrying about the competitive school run," Moore explained. "Sorry, I am not buying this fiction. The fiction is that post-feminism is not in fact anti-feminism. It is." 

Fielding, for what its worth, told Firth that his character was dead, she revealed in a Today show interview. Daniel Cleaver, Hugh Grant's bad boy, is still in the story as godfather to Jones' children. Perhaps more troubling for a third film installment is the currently lifeless career of star Renée Zellweger. She hasn't acted since 2010