Midler, Leachman, Gleason, Gasteyer and More Join "Women" Film Cast

News   Midler, Leachman, Gleason, Gasteyer and More Join "Women" Film Cast A starry ensemble of women have been assembled for the film remake of Clare Boothe Luce's The Women.
Bette Midler at the Las Vegas press announcement
Bette Midler at the Las Vegas press announcement Photo by Ethan Miller

Variety reports that recent additions to the starry cast include Bette Midler, Cloris Leachman, Carrie Fisher, Lynn Whitfield, Joanna Gleason, Ana Gasteyer and Debi Mazar. These actresses join previously announced cast members Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Candice Bergen. The film of the The Women, the play most recently presented on Broadway at the American Airlines Theatre in 2001, is currently shooting in Boston. Originally filmed in 1939 — with a cast boasting Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell — the work concerns a group of friends "who discover the pal they envied most is being cheated on by her husband," according to the trade paper.

Diane English, who penned the revised script, is also directing. About the Luce work, English previously told Variety, "The original was funny but very mean-spirited. It was Luce's attack on her gender. The catalyst of the story is still one of the women discovering her husband is having an affair, and the reaction of her friends. Unless I screw it up, there's a built-in audience for this movie." English is best known as the creator and writer of the Emmy-winning series "Murphy Brown."

The recent Broadway staging of The Women, directed by Scott Elliott, starred Kristen Johnston, Rue McClanahan, Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Tilly, Mary Louise Wilson and Jennifer Coolidge. That production was filmed and broadcast on PBS stations across the country thanks to the network's "Stage on Screen" series.

The film is being produced by Jagged Films' Victoria Pearman and Mick Jagger, Inferno's Bill Johnson and director English.

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