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Bette Midler, Joanna Gleason & More Join Film Remake of The Women

Bette Midler, Joanna Gleason & More Join Film Remake of The Women
Bette Midler

 

Bette Midler, Cloris Leachman, Carrie Fisher, Lynn Whitfield, Tony Award winner Joanna Gleason, Ana Gasteyer and Debi Mazar have joined the cast of the forthcoming feature film remake of The Women, according to Variety. The entirely female cast also includes Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Candice Bergen. Adapted and directed by Diane English Murphy Brown, The Women is currently filming in Boston.

Clare Boothe Luce's The Women, about a group of female friends who discover that their leader's husband is having an affair with a showgirl, debuted on Broadway in 1936 and played for 657 performances. The 1939 feature film version directed by George Cukor and written by Anita Loos and Jane Murfin starred Norma Shearer as heroine Mary Haines, Joan Crawford as showgirl Crystal Allen, plus Rosalind Russell as "best pal" Sylvia Fowler. English's film features Ryan as Mary, Mendes as Crystal and Bening as Sylvia. Midler is presumably playing the Countess de Lage, portrayed on film by Mary Boland.

A 1973 Broadway revival of Luce's play starred Kim Hunter as Mary, Alexis Smith as Sylvia and Jan Miner as the Countess. The most recent Broadway revival, produced by Roundabout Theatre Company in 2001, starred Cynthia Nixon as Mary, Kristen Johnston as Sylvia, Jennifer Tilly as Crystal and Rue McClanahan as the Countess.

English's The Women is being financed by Inferno, Picturehouse and Dove, the cosmetics company, which Variety reports is underwriting part of the budget and will make the film a major part of a marketing campaign. Victoria Pearman and Mick Jagger of Jagged Films and Inferno's Bill Johnson are producing with English.

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