According to speculations, Rowan Atkinson will return to one of his most renowned cinematic personas in a fourth Johnny English picture.
The 69-year-old actor has already portrayed the eponymous inept secret agent in three installments of the espionage parody franchise: the 2003 original, Johnny English Reborn (2011), and Johnny English Strikes Again (2018).
Now, six years later, he is claimed to have secured a deal to reprise the role, despite prior speculation that it was unlikely, with filming expected to begin later this year.
The movie will be shooting from June in the UK and Malta, but the plot details are being kept under wraps, according to Screen Daily.
The project’s specifics are undisclosed, but Working Titles Films has signed on to produce for the fourth time.
While promoting the third film in the series, in which he co-starred with Dame Emma Thompson and Ben Miller, the Mr Bean hero stated that a fourth episode was doubtful.
Speaking during a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), he responded to a fan’s question over a return: ‘I doubt it but thank you very much for implying you’d like to see another one.’
‘But at the same time… never say never,’ Atkinson – who was most recently seen in Wonka – added, in what appears to have been a prescient move.
Johnny English first appeared as a fumbling spy working for MI7 in a series of Barclaycard advertisements in the 1990s.
Explaining the leap to movies in the same AMA, Atkinson said: ‘I co-created it for myself. And then we wrote a good enough script for the character for us to be allowed to make the first Johnny English film.’
He had already achieved comic success with the historical sitcom Blackadder in the 1980s, as well as the global television hit Mr Bean, which inspired an animated series and two feature pictures, the most recent of which, Mr Bean’s Holiday, debuted in 2007.
Despite a poor critical reaction, the original Johnny English picture made $160 million on a $40 million budget, and the sequels achieved similar results.
During King Charles’ coronation in May last year, 140,000 viewers chose to watch Johnny English Strikes Again on television over the millions who tuned in for the historic occasion.
In 2022, Atkinson released nine episodes of his project Man Vs Bee on Netflix, which he stated had its roots in Mr Bean and was an expansion of a 1990s joke.
Source My Celebrity Life.