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.
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.