As most of you know “The Women” is a remake of a 1939 classic movie. Here is a break down of who will be playing who in the upcoming new version.The Women 1939 Movie Poster
Meg Ryan reprise the role of Mary Haines (Mrs. Stephen Haines) originally played by actress Norma Shearer who has discovered her husband has been cheating on her with the “perfume” girl from a local large department store.
In the 30’s version, Mary’s best friend and cousin is Sylvia Folwer played by actress Rosalind Russell. In the upcoming version, Annette Bening plays Sylvia. In the original, Sylvia is married and fills her day with trips to the spa for gossiping.
Debra Messing is reprising the role of “Edith Potter “now named “Edie Cohen” original acted by Phyllis Povah. True to the original version, Edie is a baby machine who has yet to have a baby boy.
Jada Pinkett Smith is playing the role of author “Alex Fisher.” In the original there is no character named “Alex Fisher,” but the character of writer “Nancy Blake” has to be the inspiration for the character of “Alex.” An actress named Florence Nash originally played “Nancy Blake.” Nancy is only seen briefly in the beginning of the movie and at the very end. She is the quick- witted author who pokes fun of the petty lives of her friends especially Sylvia!
Candice Bergen plays the role of “Mrs. Morehead” now “Catherine Frazier” originally played by actress Lucile Watson. In the original version, Mrs. Morehead helps Mary think through the ramifications of divorce and what that looks like for her daughter. Mrs. Morehead also whisks Mary away on vacation in the attempt to prevent Mary from acting rashly.
Bette Middler plays “The Countess De Lave” now renamed “Leah Miller” originally played by Mary Boland. In the original, Mary(Meg Ryan) meets “The Countess” on the train to Reno where women went to get a divorce. “The Countess” had been married and divorced several times over. While in Reno, “The Countess” meets her next husband (a ranch hand turned country crooner) “Buck Winston.” I am not sure what direction the new version takes this character. If they stay true to the original then “The Countess” plays a huge part in the demise of “Crystal Allen.”
Finally, the villain of the movie! Eva Mendes plays the infamous role of “Crystal Allen” originally played by Joan Crawford. “Crystal” works at the perfume counter of a large NYC department store. She is able to seduce Mary’s husband Stephen when he comes in to buy Mary a gift. She is a gold-digger and eventually this is her undoing. In the original, she seduces another character’s husband (besides Mary’s) in the hopes that he is wealthy but low and behold his wealth is not his own!