Break out the Jungle Red! This August, after 13 years of development delays, Murphy Brown creator Diane English finally starts shooting her remake of George Cukor's 1939 classic, The Women. Here's a look at some of English's leading ladies.
The only actress who's been on board as long as English, Ryan takes on Norma Shearer's role as a socialite who learns her hubby is cheating. ''To have her in a comedy again is great,'' notes Bob Berney of Picturehouse, the studio that's backing the flick. ''It's a fantastic role for her.''
The Boston Legal star (who worked with English on Murphy Brown) is in talks to play Mary Haines' mother, originated by Lucile Watson as a frumpy, stand-by-your-man type. English's script has her as ''an elegant woman in her fifties.'' That sounds about right.
Joan Crawford incarnated the social climber who steals Mary's husband. But exactly what makes the Ghost Rider star Crawford's rightful heir? ''She's smokin' hot,'' laughs Berney. ''And she's a really good actress. Also, it brings a great diversity to the cast.''
''Annette brings an Old Hollywood-type royalty that reminds me of the original,'' says Berney. And if anyone can pay proper homage to Rosalind Russell's scheming society dame who backstabs Mary, it's the effortlessly classy Bening.