Updates Will Appear At The Top Of The Page
Current Release Date: June 11, 2003
Stepford Wives" Are Coming Soon!
Spoilers Below: Don't Go Beyond Here If You Like To
Be Surprised At First Run Movies
Stepford Wives" Premiere in L.A.
BLB Hollywood Correspondent: Care
June 6, 2004
(Mister D: Care is in the movie business
and currently working, specifically, in the movie trailer field
which I am finding out is a very hard, timely, and tedious endeavor...but
artistically gratifying when the results pay off...she and her
company were up for several movie trailers awards this year,
but unfortunatley lost every one of them to "The Stepford
Wives"....bittersweet, I know. But isn't it just like a
BetteHead to brush themselves off and get back up...Okay, I've
had my fun...thank you so much Care for taking the time to write
up your account and sending in these pics!)
My friend Anna and I (who have both been huge
fans of Bette for over 13 years) heard about The Stepford Wives
Premiere in Westwood just a couple of weeks ago. Since we live
close by, we thought we'd just arrive about 2 hours early and
see if we could get seats somewhere near the red carpet. When
we arrived at 3:00, everything was set up, and nobody was there
yet. We asked the Mann Bruin Theatre ushers where we could stand,
and they told us we had to either get a table at cafe next to
the theatre (along the red carpet), or we had to stand across
the street! Well, as if you had to wonder...we grabbed the first
table we found at the cafe and sat there in the blazing hot
sun for 2 hours ordering drinks and food so they wouldn't kick
Anna quickly made a huge "We Love You Bette"
sign to hold up. Around 4pm, the media began arriving and setting
up right in front of us and a huge crowd formed a long line
across the street. Eventually, security blocked off all sidewalks
to only people who were patrons at the cafe, so NOBODY stood
in our way! A little after 5:00 we started seeing limos arriving
and soon after that we heard a large crowd scream "BETTE!"
As we stood on our chairs with excitement and holding up our
sign, Bette was gradually making her way through the media.
It took her about 20 minutes or so to walk to our end of the
carpet, because she stopped to talk and smile with almost every
interviewer, of course.
Eventually, Bette made it to our section. We noticed
a couple times that Bette's publicist (standing right beside
her) pointed to our sign for Bette to acknowledge. So seeing
that, as loud as we could, we screamed "We Love You Bette"
and she waved to us and smiled. I'm telling you...when Bette
looks at you and smiles, there's nothing like it! She looked
absolutely beautiful in a short sleeved black shirt, white skirt
and black heels. I kept running a long the carpet and shooting
pictures as she continued to walk down towards the theatre until
she was led inside by her entourage.
She briefly stopped to sign autographs, but there
were so many people pushing and shoving, it was nearly impossible
to give anything to her. So what else do you do...scream compliments
to her of course! After Bette disappeared, Glenn Close, Faith
Hill, Tim McGraw, Jon Lovitz, and Matthew Broderick all made
their way into the theatre, stopping from time to time to talk
to the media. I love Faith Hill, and can't wait to see her acting
debut, but she didn't really stop to talk that much with the
media. She and Tim just skimmed the carpet and went into the
theatre, so that was a bit disappointing. But as usual...Bette
was out there showing her divine self off, and fails to disappoint
By K. Heller
Weeks after The Stepford Wives remake was test-screened, its
crew and power cast - Nicole Kidman, Bette Midler,Matthew Broderick,
and Christopher Walken - are headed back for "additional
scenes," as the studio calls them. The latest turmoil for
the June 11 film comes after the $90 million Frank Oz-directed
pic ran two months behind schedule. Oz, the voice of Yoda and
Miss Piggy (top that on your resume!), wants Kidman for three
days of reshoots, though she's working on Sydney Pollack's The
Interpreter in her native Australia. "Frank's sense of
detail can just be insane," says one set spy. "He's
used to puppets." Aren't we all?
Thanks for the screenshots BaltoBoy
(you can see that it is a robotic hand)
Spoilers Below: Don't Go Beyond Here
If You Like To Be Surprised At First Run Movies
(Thanks Brandon for the alert)
A Review of the First Screening
(which means many changes can be made from now until
release) from One Hand Clapping as
reprinted from the site: Ain't
It Cool News
One Hand Clapping does the first review of the remake for THE
Hey folks, Harry here with our first review of THE STEPFORD
WIVES which sounds intriguing. The review isn't entirely positive,
and there are spoilers below -- and yes if you've seen the original,
these are STILL SPOILERS as this is different
from the original film. The film is months away from coming
out, so realize this is their first screening to get a grasp
of where they are... sounds like it still has work to be done,
but it sounds like Frank Oz has done a good job with a great
cast. Here ya go...
Harry Knowles (Ain't It Cool News)
Just now got back
from a screening, the first anywhere they said, of the Stepford
This is a remake
of the 1970's classic, which was itself an adaptation of Ira
Levin's classic novel about a perfect little town where the
husbands get up to shenanigans. It's Bachelor Party with robots.
Alas, all is still
not well in Stepford when our heroine, Nicole Kidman enters
with her shlubby husband, Matthew Broderick and her children.
This time, the
character being fitted for the Cuisenart dress is a TV exec
who has a breakdown after she's fired and finds out her husband
is having an affair with her secretary all in the same morning.
Her hubbie decides
to move them to the idyllic little town of Stepford to start
The movie's tone
is very different than the original. This one almost starts
out as a comedy, with zany sterotypes the Jewish writer, (played
by Bette Midler) and the gay guy, etc.
While this version
has as many teeth as a soup sucking denizen of an old age home,
it does get in its shots, but the subtext is unclear...is it
talking about Feminism? American Excess? Couplehood? The movie
isn't even sure it seems, as it runs around trying to cover
all bases. It wants to be dark, but funny, and also goofy, but
One of the films
greatest successes is the special effects: the few times the
supporting characters exhibit their roboticness is funny AND
disturbing, because they move like MACHINES should and that's
But we were shown
what HAD to be an alternate ending. See, first we wind up, as
in the original, with the main character, post-robot, in a supermarket,
along with all her new robot pals (actually, they are no longer
robots in the story. The brain is extracted, placed in a robotic
body, with some extra chips to make 'em act right. Problem is,
most of the wives were apparently so perfect looking to begin
with, you wonder why they needed new bodies. Seems the brain
augmentation thing would be enough.)
Anyhoo, when I
saw what I ASSUMED was the ending, I thought to myself "self,
it may not be as good as the original, but it was fun and a
nice bit of satire." Then it kept going...and going.
We were treated
to a BS Hollywood ending where it turns out that Broderick and
Nicole were putting the wool over everyone's eyes and manage
to sneak into the lair of the nefarious Mike (Chris Walken,
fine as ever) and free all the ladies, who are only a little
miffed about being transplanted into robotic bodies and being
used as beer coolers. I kid not.
And it goes on
and on, with twists I won't bother telling you about, not because
their spoliers, but because they're stupid.
This might not
be the ending they go with. The soundtrack behind it was the
theme from Edward Scissorhands, so I can only guess this was
a test of sorts.
I will mention
one thing: the supermarket ending is played out again, this
time with the shlubby husbands doing the shopping. A Rhodes
Scholar behind me said "A perfect world...where men always
do the shopping." That's when the real subtext of the movie,
or at least what it SHOULD have been, hit me: when people fantasize
about the perfect partner, they tend to fantasize about a slave.
It's too bad the
movie was so muddy that (apparantly) the point was lost.
Call me ONE HAND
cuz thats my name.
From EW: Frank Oz on the Filming of "The Stepford Wives"...Thank
was good," Frank Oz says of shooting his remake of The
Stepford Wives, Bryan Forbes' 1975 cult classic about upper-crust
women being replaced by robots with sunny dispositions.
was a long shoot with some very talented people." In fact,
filming stretched for an extra two months - to the displeasure
of stars Nicole Kidman, Matthew Broderick, Bette Midler, and
Christopher Walken - and featured fierce clashes between Midler
and Walken and the director.
So why the
holdup? Maybe it was the "dozens and dozens and dozens
of script meetings" Oz had with screenwriter Paul Rudnick
and producer Scott Rudin, or the scenes that took "at least
twice as long" to shoot - possibly because, as Oz says,
"I've never shot the script [as written], except Little
Shop of Horrors.
it's all sweetness and light from the man whose résumé
boasts comedy hits like In & Out, Bowfinger, and Dirty Rotten
Scoundrels. "I loved shooting this film. There were some
days that I felt like a truck ran over me," says Oz. "But
after a shower, I couldn't wait to get to work."
"Stepford" Trailer News
By Christina S. N. Lewis
for "The Stepford Wives" shows actress Nicole Kidman,
a gold apron wrapped around her tiny waist, vamping for the
camera as a giggling, obedient robot wife.
which is being shown before screenings of Miramax's "Cold
Mountain," which also stars Kidman, offers audiences a
first taste of the satire, which wrapped filming in the area
shot scenes at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk,
and in Darien and Greenwich. Scenes also were shot at private
homes and on Main Street in New Canaan.
Stepford Wives," which also stars Mathew Broderick, Bette
Midler, Christopher Walken and Glenn Close, is a satire of the
1975 film about an idyllic town in Connecticut where affluent
but timid husbands replace their wives with look-alike cyborgs.
film was a dark parody skewering the conformity of suburban
married life, but the teaser suggests that the new film is more
To the tunes
of '50s-style ballroom jazz, the trailer shows about a dozen
shots of men's products, including a Christian Dior cologne,
a Gucci briefcase, a space-age CD player, and a black Mercedes
sedan. The narrator says, "This is your life. Everything
you own is beautiful, perfectly constructed, ideally manufactured.
Everything you possess feels, thinks and responds as if you've
had it made just for you. Isn't it time you had the ultimate
camera focuses on Kidman, her blond hair cascading in soft waves
around her sculptured face as she breathes "for the man
who has everything."
one," the narrator says.
assembly required," Kidman giggles.
film was written by William Goldman and based on a novel with
the same title by Ira Levin.
Bullis of Darien, who saw the trailer with her husband, Frank
DeVita, during a Wednesday matinee, said the preview showed
that the remake is funnier than the original. But that's not
what makes her want to see the movie.
would see it anyhow," Bullis said, "just because it's
filmed in the area."
trailer can be viewed online at movies.yahoo.com/movies/feature/thestepfordwives.html.
Bobbie Markowitz in the upcoming sci-fi comedy, The Stepford
wives' get norwalk makeover
STEPFORD: Casting call held at Norwalk mansion
for all-star remake of iconic film
Sunday, September 28, 2003By Kellie Lambert
© 2003 Republican-American
The phrase brings to mind images of perfection, both
in physical beauty and abilities to keep house and mother children. Today the
women who fill these roles are both envied and admired.
But in the '70s,
these idyllic housewives were mocked in a book and accompanying film which gave
us the descriptive phrase.
Now the film is being updated and the fictional
Connecticut town of Stepford will be revisited, allowing another examination of
But this time around, three decades later, will American audiences
be so horrified?
"It's definitely a commentary on the roles of women
in life," said Jeannine Basinger, chairman of the Film Studies department
of Wesleyan University in Middletown. "There was a questioning on the standard
of a wife's role at the time. Now it's more quaint than a commentary on the times."
image of "The Stepford Wives" first appeared in author Ira Levin's 1972
book of the same name. He wrote it as a thriller, a horror novel of sorts. Levin
was a master of the medium – it was he who penned the classics "Rosemary's
Baby" and "The Boys From Brazil."
The book jacket for "The
Stepford Wives" even predicts the impact the story will have on society:
"It is one of those rare novels whose very title may well become part of
our vocabulary. For, after reading it, you will never forget Stepford and the
horror it contains; and there is a certain kind of woman who, from now on, will
be known as a Stepford Wife."
The Taming of the Shrews
story follows the tale of Joanna, who moves with her husband and two children
to the quaint suburban town of Stepford, Conn.
In her attempts to find other
women who share similar intellectual interests, she discovers that the wives of
the town are too preoccupied with taking care of home and husbands.
obsession is not by choice, she uncovers; instead, the husbands have formed a
Men's Association whose sole purpose is to create lifelike robots to replace their
wives and keep everything beautiful and perfect.
"It reflected the
experiences of a particular population, primarily white middle and upper-middle
class women, at the time," said Colette Morrow, president of the National
Women's Association and a professor at Purdue University-Calumet in Hammond, Ind.
reflecting their experiences, it triggered their interest. And actually it might
have tapped into their fears and frustrations in being trapped in the traditional
role of housewife and mother when this particular class of women had been fairly
high achieving in education and not had avenues and opportunities to be able to
find fulfillment outside of their sphere and helm," said Morrow
The story will begin its update in October or November when
Hollywood brings a notable cast to the Nutmeg State to film a remake of the original
movie, set for release next summer.
Actress Nicole Kidman will play Joanna.
Other stars signing on for the remake include Matthew Broderick, Glenn Close,
Christopher Walken and Bette Midler; Frank Oz ("Little Shop of Horrors,"
"Muppets Take Manhattan," "What About Bob?") will direct.
casting call was held Wednesday at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk,
which will be the site of the fictional Men's Association. Part of the original
version of the film was shot at the mansion in 1975.
Paramount Studios cast
extras to play Stepford wives and husbands for an outdoor scene to be shot in
New Canaan today and Monday, according to the Stamford Advocate.
closed to the public Sept. 2 for Paramount to make interior changes.
at the museum has been postponed several times because of construction delays.
Portions of the film have already been shot in Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan.
new film is said to focus more on the comedic elements of the original and less
on horror. Writer Maureen Dowd of The New York Times asserts that this change
is because the original premise is not so scary anymore.
Women have essentially
turned themselves into Stepford Wives without any help from their husbands.
can no longer wince at their mates because they have their faces frozen with Botox,"
Dowd writes. "They're sedated with Prozac, Zoloft, Xanax and Paxil… Women
puff their lips, balloon their breasts and suck fat from their hindquarters.
spring fashions were so hourglass sexy, frothy and pastel, they were dubbed ‘Stepford
style' in the Times fashion section."
"The first thing that flashed
through my mind is that the vast majority of women are not afraid of being the
Stepford Wife today," Morrow said, adding that women bear a double burden
both being the primary caregiver and caretaker in the family as well as the weight
of working outside the home.
"It's really important to remember that
our society is not structured in a way that supports women to work outside the
home," Morrow added. "And for most women it's not an option to stay
More Mock than Shock
The new version changes
the role of Joanna. In the original, Joanna was full-time mother and part-time
freelance photographer. In the new version, Joanna is a network president while
her husband is only a junior vice president. The update allows a new twist – a
wife who makes more money than her husband.
"There's still social pressure,"
screenwriter Paul Rudnick said in an interview.
"Everything is looking
at a guy with a wife who makes more money, going ‘He's the chick.'"
the original film was shocking to audiences, the new version will mock the hausfrau.
In a time when many women are giving up the fast track of commuting and meetings
for jogging strollers and playdates, "The Stepford Wives" may not seem
too far from reality for many women.
Instead of gasping in horror at women
who concentrate on cleaning house and taking care of their families, modern audiences
may find humor in a robotic housewife, but not in the idea of perfect femininity.
the long interval between the two movies, women have turned themselves into Stepford
wives," Dowd wrote.
In a recent editorial, Dowd states that domestic
gurus like Martha Stewart and Nigella Lawson have led women back to "the
wifely arts of cooking, gardening, decorating and flower arranging." Basinger
"There's still an influence on women to look just right, and
there's a return to the old values of homemaking," Basinger said.
likely that this will be a campy version."
hasn’t called back church
Cynthia Baran , Shoreline Bureau Chief
— Hollywood types haven’t decided if the Madison Green will make it to the big
of the First Madison Congregational Church were approached in early summer by
the folks filming the remake of the 1975 thriller, "The Stepford Wives,"
and haven’t heard "a peep" since, church secretary Nancy Cash said Thursday.
Robertson, publicist for "The Stepford Wives" remake, said the location
manager is still scouting sites and has not decided on Madison.
remake stars Nicole Kidman, Matthew Broderick, Bette Midler, Glenn Close, Christopher
Walken and Faith Hill in a dark-comedy version of the story directed by Frank
Oz. They have firmed up agreements to shoot in locations in Fairfield County.
at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk, which will reprise its role
in the original movie as the Stepford Men’s Association, is to begin on Sept.
also has been some filming in Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan.
church officials here were approached, they were told that any filming in Madison
would likely be in September.
Haven Register 2003
Chatter: 'Stepford Wives' Keep Going During Blackout
Nicole Kidman Movie Didn't
Miss A Beat
Michelle Solomon, Staff Writer
POSTED: 9:26 a.m. EDT August
massive blackout that hit parts of the eastern United States and areas of Canada
meant some productions on televisions and movies and theater stage shows screeched
to a halt.
there were a few that managed to forge ahead without a blip thanks to contingency
plans in the form of back-up generators.
one of those high-priced productions that didn't skip a beat was "The Stepford
Wives" remake now filming in New York, E! online reported.
tickled my funny bone that a movie about women whose husbands replace them with
robots would find a mechanical way to keep going during what's now become known
as the Blackout of 2003.
remake has intrigued me because of its cast and reports that the comic aspects
of the 1975 film will be played up in the 2004 version. What was a horror thriller
in the '70s is expected to be more quirky this time around. It's easy to imagine
the style if you know who is writing the remake. That would be Paul Rudnick, who
penned the films "In and Out" and "The Addams Family Values."
Nicole Kidman steps into the role made famous by Katherine Ross. She plays Joanna
Eberhardt, who moves with her husband, Walter, and their two children to a quaint
Connecticut town only to find something strange going on.
Broderick has replaced John Cusack, who was first cast as Walter Eberhardt. Cusack's
sister, Joan, – the pair frequently appears in movies together – was to have played
Joanna's best friend, Bobbie Markowitz, but both Cusacks dropped out of the production
last May. Now Bette Midler has stepped into that role, giving the dark comedy
even more of a twisted appeal. (Remember Midler in "Ruthless People,"
"Drowning Mona?" It'll be much the same.)
was looking forward to the role before production started in June. She was quoted
going to be done as a comedy. And I've wanted to do a comedy. ... I'm in the middle
of Cold Mountain now, which is sort of an epic, tragic love story. I just went,
'I've got to do a comedy.' I need to have some lightness."
the mansion in Connecticut where the first "Stepford Wives" was filmed
is gearing up for the remake to visit.
Norwalk Lockwood-Mathews mansion, which has about 30,000 visitors each year, closed
Monday to get ready to greet its movie-star guests. The mansion's Web site trumpets
that stars Kidman and Broderick will be visiting the mansion.
the film, the mansion serves as the setting for The Stepford Men's Association,
where the men gather to discuss their plot to turn their wives into perfect, well-oiled
Lockwood-Mathews Mansion, which will serve as the site of our Men's Association,
has a gothic, almost fortress like quality that we think will provide a great
visual contrast in the otherwise bucolic town of Stepford," Marsha Robertson,
a spokeswoman for the Paramount Pictures movie, told the Associated Press. "The
Stepford Men's Association is a very mysterious place to those arriving in town."
the museum's executive director says the movie comes at a critical time for the
museum and that money which Paramount Pictures will put into sprucing up the Lockwood-Mathews
comes at the perfect time.
thrilled," said Marjorie St. Aubyn, the museum's executive director, who
estimated the value of the work at more than $200,000. "With everyone cutting
back, it's terrible for a museum like us," St. Aubyn told the Associated
Pictures is expected to replace old carpeting with new, plus paint and restore
the woodwork and glass of the mansion's rotunda to its former glory.
mansion will be ready for filming when shooting begins there Sept. 23, according
movie is expected to be released in June 2004.
on Bette...Hmmm...Sounds Fun
From an interview with Glenn Close Friday, August
By Roger Friedman on Fox News:
now she's filming the remake of "The Stepford Wives" in, of all places,
her hometown of Greenwich, Connecticut. She and Christopher Walken are one couple.
Matthew Broderick and Nicole Kidman are another.
then there's Bette Midler.
OK to call them 'Stepford Wives'
By SANDY STUART ,
Stepford Wives - or, more specifically, extras in the remake of the classic 1975
movie. From left are Beth Whaley of Bernardsville, Christy Ainsworth of Basking
Ridge and Linda Yarosh of Bedminster Township.
In the cultural jargon, Stepford
Wife is not exactly considered a complimentary term.
Christy Ainsworth of Basking Ridge, Linda Yarosh of Bedminster and Beth Whaley
of Bernardsville don't mind being called Stepford Wives. In fact, they love it.
all, it was their prom queen good looks - tall, slim and blonde - that won them
roles as extras in the Paramount Pictures remake of "The Stepford Wives,"
starring Nicole Kidman, Bette Midler and Matthew Broderick.
Yarosh and Whaley were among dozens of Somerset Hills residents who acted in a
scene filmed this week and last at a farm off Larger Cross Road in Bedminster
Township. Three of their children - 7-year-old Sheridan Sheridan Ainsworth, 5-year-old
Danika Yarosh and 5-year-old Christian Whaley - were also picked as extras.
the other local residents playing Stepford denizens were Byron Smith of Bedminster
and his two daughters, Jordan, 7, and Courtney, 5; siblings Samantha and Duncan
Ellsworth of Peapack, ages 9 and 6, respectively; siblings Charlie and Megan Cain
of Gladstone, 10 and 7 respectively; and 10-year-old Nicholas Martin of Gladstone.
Bedminster scene depicts a Fourth of July country fair in which Kidman and Broderick,
playing a married couple who have just moved from Manhattan to the fictional town
of Stepford, meet their new neighbors for the first time.
the scene, Kidman stands out as a city dweller - black dress, slicked-back brown
hair - among the beautiful, docile, pastel-clad robot wives of Stepford. This
group, of course, included Ainsworth, Yarosh and Whaley.
an interview away from the set, which was closed to spectators and the press,
it was clear that the local women had a great time with their Stepford roles.
and Yarosh came all dolled up, wearing high heels, false eyelashes and teased
look just like Barbie," exclaimed Yarosh, checking out Ainsworth's tight
mini-skirt and pink top.
do, too," said Ainsworth, returning the compliment.
local residents were chosen for the film after appearing at a casting call on
June 26 at the Gill St. Bernard's School in Gladstone. Non-union extras, adults
and children alike, would earn a flat $75 per day fee.
Ainsworth, becoming a Stepford Wife fulfilled a childhood fantasy.
I was 12 or 13, 'The Stepford Wives' was my favorite movie," she said, referring
to the original 1975 film starring Katherine Ross. "I loved it."
much so that, two years ago, Ainsworth threw a "Stepford Wives" screening
party for her friends who hadn't seen the film.
said she was excited to be chosen as an extra, along with Sheridan. In one shot,
mother and daughter got to hold hands as they mingled with the crowd at the staged
July 4 celebration.
became a Stepford Wife sort of by accident. She had brought her three children,
Danika, Amanda and Erik to the casting call and was asked if she, too, would like
to audition. She agreed.
four of the Yaroshes were accepted as extras, but only Linda and Danika ended
up taking the job.
also stumbled into her role as a Stepford Wife, when she brought Christian in
for an audition and was asked to try out.
said she never expected to be picked. "It was hot that day and I wasn't even
wearing makeup," she recalled.
her amusement, Beth was accepted. "I used to live in The Hills in Bedminster,
and I used to joke that it was full of Stepford Wives," she said.
women said that although being as an extra in a Hollywood movie was a thrill,
it was also hard work.
had to stand there in the 100 degree heat in high heels, in four inches of dirt
and horse manure," said Ainsworth.
Stepford Wives are supposed to look perfect at all times, makeup assistants hovered
around them to remove any hint of perspiration.
came and blotted my face for sweat," said Yarosh. "It made me feel like
women noted that the production company set strict regulations for extras: no
cameras, no autographs and no talking to the stars - or even making eye contact
hey, rules were meant to be broken. Right?
Danika Yarosh completely forgot about the rules during a break when she spotted
Kidman sitting by herself, shielding her face from the sun's rays with an umbrella.
became curious: Was Kidman alone because she was in a "timeout" for
doing something bad? And why the umbrella on a sunny day?
to her mother, Danika scampered over, plopped herself down on a director's chair
next to Kidman and began chatting away.
said Linda Yarosh, Kidman didn't seem at all upset by the intrusion.
was really friendly with Danika, just like a mom," said Yarosh. "She
said to Danika, 'You're such a sweet little angel that fell from heaven.' "
also had a brief exchange with Broderick, who ate lunch with the cast on one of
the days of filming.
said, 'How're you doing,' I said, 'Hot,' and he said, 'Me, too," reported
Yarosh. "He was very down to earth, just a regular person."
also got a chance to chat with Broderick when she noticed him walking near her
one day on the way to the catering tent.
just had a normal conversation," Ainsworth said. "He said, 'Where are
we, anyway?' I told him there are quite a few celebrities out here."
also told Broderick, "I don't know how you people do this. It's tough, grueling
work." He graciously replied, "You guys (the extras) are out there doing
it, too," she said.
Get To Play
local kids who served as extras were a bit more nonchalant about the prospect
of being in a movie, although they all had their memorable moments.
Samantha Ellsworth, the hardest part of the filming was remembering to duck her
head when going under low-hanging tree branches in a hayride shot. One kid, she
said, did get hit with a branch.
Whaley liked the same shot, since he got to sit in the front of the tractor-pulled
wagon and has a good chance of appearing in the final cut of the film.
Nicholas Martin and Charlie Cain, the best part was getting to play in a scene
that depicts a kids' soccer game. They got to kick the ball around and hang out
with Dylan Henderson, the child actor who plays Kidman and Broderick's son.
Smith said she liked being in a shot with her father in which a woman at the fair
hands her an American flag.
also liked learning the movie-making lingo. "When they wanted us to come
out (to film a shot), they would yell, 'Background,' " she said.
local Stepford extras now have to wait until the film's release in 2004 to find
out whether their faces will be seen in the final cut of the movie.
Is Filming Here, Just Don't Tell The Wives
The Hartford Courant
July 18, 2003
when are those wacky Stepford Wives automatons coming to Connecticut? The word
from Hollywood, m'dears, is they're already here.
photography is underway," is the cryptic way that Paramount Pictures describes,
in a press release, the production presence of the "Stepford Wives"
first "Stepford Wives" (1975) was also filmed here, so the state is
girding itself for the return. But where, pray do tell, are they?
photography underway" means that "we are starting to move around, but
quietly," says Paramount publicist Marsha Robertson, sworn to secrecy for
fear she might be turned into a Stepford Wife herself.
production company is ever so circumspect about where it will be shooting. Most
filming will be done inside private homes in New Canaan and Norwalk. That's where
the Stepford men plot how they can re-engineer their women into walking, talking,
ever-so husband-pleasing, meal-making robots.
but there is a big scene from the first movie where the Stepford Men's Club meets
and plots. It took place in the magnificent Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum in
again, starting Aug. 18, filming will begin in that same mansion.
the only site from the original movie being revisited," said Marjorie St.
Aubyn, executive director of the museum, who is thrilled to have the likes of
Christopher Walken and Matthew Broderick rattling around in her Victorian Renaissance
a wonderful thing to happen for Norwalk," she said.
not only is paying $70,000 to rent the museum, but it's paying "a significant
amount" to restore the rotunda floor, lay the carpet and restore the paint.
like a `This Old House,'" she said. "Except it's this most incredible
Aug. 18 when the actors from Paramount arrive and begin their conniving against
Nicole Kidman and Bette Midler, the museum is open.
such a boffo movie coming to Connecticut is keeping Guy Ortoleva, head of the
Connecticut Film Office, busy behind the scenes, also sworn to secrecy lest he
be turned into the first Stepford Husband.
working in the background with lots of logistical details," he said. "If
everything goes smoothly and no one hears about it, we're heroes."
is working with Stepford producer Scott Rudin on getting another movie of his,
a remake of "The Manchurian Candidate," filmed here. He's also scouting
state locations for Fox 2000 Pictures for a movie to star Robert De Niro.
keep your pie hole shut.
Hollywood In The Stars For Madison?
The Hartford Courant
By NANCY BASTIAN
-- Antiques shows, concerts, and flag football games might not be the only activities
taking place on the Green this September. The First Congregational Church, which
owns the Green, has been approached by a company filming a remake of the 1975
science fiction thriller The Stepford Wives. The company is seeking permission
to possibly shoot a scene on the Green as well as on the church's front steps.
officials said last week that the church received a letter around June 23 from
an Astoria, New York-based company connected with the film's distributor, Paramount
Pictures, expressing interest in the site as a potential filming location.
Secrretray Nancy Cash said that the church was told that Madison is one of two
or three localities the company is considering.
everything is speculative, church staffers kept the news quiet and acknowledged
that most members learned of the request when it broke last week in a regional
request came out of the blue," said Church Council Chair Ed Miller. "We
were totally surprised."
said that at a July 1 meeting of the church's diaconate and at a July 8 Church
Council meeting, "The request was discussed and approved to consider."
added that the church has named a committee that will negotiate details should
the production company wish to proceed.
right now [July 10] we haven't heard back from them," said Miller.
believes the company was looking to film sometime during the week of Sept. 22,
should an agreement be reached. It is unclear if a star will be in the proposed
winning actress Nicole Kidman is slated to play the lead Role of Joanna Eberhart.
The cast includes other superstars, among them Glenn Close, Bette Midler, Christopher
Walken, and Faith Hill. Matthew Broderick is being considered for the role of
Kidman's husband, Walter Eberhart.
on the a novel by Ira Levin, The Stepford Wives follows the fictional story of
Joanna Eberhart who leaves New York with her husband only to discover that the
women in her new community of Stepford, Connecticut, are mysteriously becoming
brainless servants dedicated only to housework and their husbands.
original film starred Katharine Ross as Joanna Eberhart and was filmed in coastal
to Guy Ortoleva, executive director of the Connecticut Film Video and Media Office
in Rocky Hill, one location already selected in Connecticut for the remake is
the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion in Norwalk, which served as the "Stepford Men's
Club" in the original movie.
if Madison isn't selected as a site for shooting for the Kidman flick, residents
can take heart that scenes from the 2001 romantic comedy Happy Accidents starring
Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei was filmed off Neck Road. Directing the 1993 Best Supporting
Actress was Madison's Brad Anderson.
explained that Connecticut has a thriving film and media industry that generates
some $3 billion dollars a year. As a Division of the Connecticut Department of
Economic and Community Development, his office acts a liaison between the film
industry and communities that serve as shooting locations.
day a film crew stays in Connecticut, it has the potential of generating business
for the local community since cast and crews need hotels [and] food," said
most residents, the mere thought of having a major motion picture filmed in Madison
is a cause for pride. As Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Eileen Speed expressed,
"Look at Madison. It's such a pretty place; it would be fun to see it on
the big screen."
film is due out next year.
© 2003, Madison Source
stars in area to film movie remake
Nicole Kidman, Bette Midler perform in Bedminster,
sleep at Bernards hotel
The Bernardsville News
By SANDY STUART , Staff
TWP. - A picture-perfect barn complex and sunny skies greeted Nicole Kidman and
a host of Hollywood actors this week, during the filming of a scene from the new
"Stepford Wives" movie.
Bette Midler, Matthew Broderick, Glenn Close and Jon Lovitz were among the stars
who joined some 200 extras - including many local residents - on a Larger Cross
filming of the scene, which depicts a Fourth of July fair in the fictitious upper-class
town of Stepford, began Monday morning amid heavy security provided by the local
continued throughout the day Tuesday and was scheduled to wrap up yesterday afternoon,
Wednesday, assuming cooperative weather.
of the cast and crew members - including Kidman, Midler and director Frank Oz
- stayed in luxurious rooms at the Olde Mill Inn in Bernards Township during the
filming, according to sources. They were said to have checked out by Wednesday.
the remake of the 1975 classic thriller, Kidman plays the role of Joanna Eberhart,
who has just moved from Manhattan with her husband (Broderick) and children.
to publicist Marsha Robertson, the scene in Bedminster shows the Eberhart family
meeting the townspeople of Stepford for the first time at a July 4 celebration.
those they encounter are Bobbie Markowe (Midler) and her husband (Lovitz), who
are also newcomers to Stepford; as well as the town matriarch, played by Close.
cast members include Faith Hill, Christopher Walken and Bernardsville native Roger
Bart, an original cast member of the Broadway hit, "The Producers."
Hill and Walken did not appear in the Bedminster scene.
to Robertson, the Bedminster scene shows "the perfect Fourth of July party.
If Norman Rockwell had painted the party, this is what it would look like."
outdoor scene centers around a big red horse barn with crisp white trim next to
a riding ring. Children trot ponies around the ring, while townspeople mingle
at the lemonade stand, bake sale and ring toss booth set up outside the barn.
said the barn and the fence around the riding ring are draped in red, white and
blue bunting, American flags wave everywhere, and the set is festooned with red,
white and blue balloons.
said the 200 extras include about 30 local adults and about 40 local children
between the ages of 5 and 12.
said the extras were chosen at a June 26 casting call at the Gill St. Bernard's
School in Gladstone. About 300 people applied as extras, Robertson said.
Stepford is a town in which the wives have been surreptitiously replaced by beautiful
robots, the extras include about 100 tall, slim, attractive women.
are a lot of gorgeous women here - the extras who are playing Stepford Wives,"
filming of the July 4 scene officially began at around 8 a.m., but Robertson said
both the stars and extras had to be on the location by 6:30 for makeup and costumes.
a lot of hair and makeup in the morning, because they have to look perfect,"
clothes, put together by our costume designer, Ann Roth, are fabulous," Robertson
added. She described the women's dresses as "the 1950s meets the glamour
said the little girls in the scene wear pretty sundresses and the boys wear shorts,
polo shirts and tennis sneakers. "They're very neat, as Stepford children
would be," she observed.
the cars used in the filming are Stepfordish - which is to say, they are exactly
what one would see in the Somerset Hills.
said about 20 vehicles used in the scene are owned by local residents, "so
they can drive up in their big SUVs and sports cars."
just anyone could drive up in their SUV or sports car, however.
it was a "closed set," considerable effort was made to keep fans and
curiosity seekers away from the filming.
"SW" signs with arrows were posted along Route 202-206 and Lamington
Road to direct cast and crew members to the site.
nobody else could get too close.
police car was parked at the intersection of Lamington and Larger Cross roads
to keep an eye on motorists, and off-duty police officers were hired for on-site
security and traffic control duty.
forbidding motorists from parking or even stopping were posted along Larger Cross
Road. However, there wasn't much to see from the road, as most of the barn complex
is obscured by a thick stand of trees and brush.
request by this newspaper to visit the set was denied.
the filming, much of the cast and crew reportedly stayed at the Olde Mill Inn
off Route 202 in Bernards Township, about a 15-minute drive from the set.
a representative from the inn declined comment on the celebrity visits.
Church Gets Ready For "The Stepford Wives"
The Hartford Courant
an eye out for a certain statuesque, strawberry blonde Academy Award-winning actress
this summer near the First Congregational Church on the Madison Green.
church is considering a request from the company filming a remake of "The
Stepford Wives" to shoot scenes on the Green, which is owned by the church.
superstar actress Nicole Kidman is playing the lead, and a host of famous names
are in the cast, including Bette Midler, Christopher Walken and Glenn Close.
any of those stars will be spending time in Madison remains to be seen.
is rumored that scenes to be shot on the Green, if the church and production company
reach agreement, will involve some of the starring actors, but that could not
church council confirmed Wednesday that it had been approached, but no decision
has been made as to whether to grant permission for filming on the Green.
are not opposed to the concept," according to a brief statement from the
council. "It is currently being discussed."
Pictures will be the distributor of the remake of the 1975 sci-fi thriller. The
original was filmed in Darien, Norwalk and Weston and took place in the fictional
Fairfield County town of Stepford, where all the women are mindless housewives
with a mysterious devotion to their husbands. A horrifying secret is revealed
in the film’s twist ending.
picturesque, genteel Madison Green would fit in with the film’s suburban setting.
time around, "The Stepford Wives" will be a black comedy featuring Kidman
in Katharine Ross’ leading role. Matthew Broderick is in talks to play Kidman’s
husband in the film.
remake is scheduled to be released in 2004.
got out locally when the film production company contacted Town Hall July 3. Town
officials referred the inquiries to church officials.
Ortoleva, executive director of the Connecticut Film Office, said Wednesday that
the movie’s location manager would not be happy to learn that word had leaked
out about possible filming in Madison, but he did confirm that it is one of the
locations being considered. Others include New Canaan and Norwalk.
said that he believes the filming will be done sometime this summer, but cautioned
that moviemakers "change their mind a lot." The film office assists
those wishing to shoot movies, videos and commercials on location in Connecticut
as well as those communities and private property owners who make their venues
available, Ortoleva said.
companies do pay location fees," he said. "This office is available
to help prepare communities for the impact of location filming and assure that
all goes smoothly. The plans are worked out well in advance."
filming also tends to have a positive impact on area businesses, he said, noting
that film cast and crews need accommodations, food, transportation and other amenities.
independent film, "Whirlygirl," shot mainly in New Haven earlier this
year, pumped $500,000 into local businesses.
after the financial windfall of location shooting in a community is forgotten,
residents tend to take a proprietary interest in the film.
Chester, where Doris Day came to film "It Happened to Jane," in the
late 1950s, the town’s Historical Society still offers a showing of it in the
Meetinghouse occasionally as a fund-raiser, selling popcorn at ’50s prices.
By MAUREEN DOWD
leafy Connecticut towns of New Canaan and Norwalk are getting ready for the invasion
of the body-snatched. The Stepford wives, those frilly minded, man-pleasing zombies
who glided through suburban colonials and supermarkets three decades ago, are
back — clutching casseroles with blue potholders and garden tools with white gloves.
I avoid remakes. But I'm intrigued to see what the director Frank Oz and the screenwriter
Paul Rudnick do with their new version of the 1975 cult thriller and ingenious
spoof on male fear of female assertion, "The Stepford Wives," a William
Goldman screenplay from an Ira Levin novel.
Kidman will take Katharine Ross's role of a woman who moves to an immaculate Connecticut
suburb with her husband (Matthew Broderick). She and her new pal (Bette Midler)
discover that the place is more wicked than wicker, and that the women walking
around in ruffles are preternaturally unruffled (Faith Hill et al.).
the original, the men in town take revenge on the Betty Friedan ethos and notions
about unshaved legs, burned bras and competing his-and-her careers by killing
off their newly liberated wives and replacing them with shaplier and more submissive
robot doppelgänger in aprons who knit and coo. (The fembots with Farrah hair
and blue eyeshadow sometimes go haywire and breathily repeat things like, "I'll
just die if I don't get that recipe.")
Walken is now the villainous town founder, so Nicole will need her wits about
her to escape.
Rudnick says the plot has only increased in resonance because men have grown even
more anxious about gender issues and begrudge having their hegemony shredded by
women, gays and minorities. "Straight white males act like the angry new
endangered minority," he says. "Men only evolve with a gun at their
Ross played an amateur photographer whose husband felt she neglected the home.
Mr. Rudnick has ratcheted up Ms. Kidman's accomplishments, making her a network
president, and her husband an underling and junior vice president.
still social pressure — everyone looking at a guy with a wife who makes more money,
going, `He's the chick,' " the writer says.
notes that the "embedded biology" of romantic fantasies has not changed:
"Men want a babe and don't care about her earning power. Women want a rugged
poet or musician with a private jet."
will still make a great thriller. But the real chiller is that the evil husbands
in the original did not need to murder. They just needed to wait. In the long
interval between the two movies, women have turned themselves into Stepford wives.
can no longer wince at their mates because they have frozen their faces with Botox.
They're sedated with Prozac, Zoloft, Xanax and Paxil. (As one mother told New
York magazine about rampant pill-popping: "People say `I'm anxious' and I
think, how quaint.")
puff their lips, balloon their breasts and suck fat from their hindquarters. The
spring fashions were so hourglass sexy, frothy and pastel, they were dubbed "Stepford
style" in the Times fashion section.
Stewart (a haywire robot with a team of lawyers) led women — and culture — back
to the wifely arts of cooking, gardening, decorating and flower arranging. Hillary
Clinton, once so angry about tea and cookies, is now so eerily glazed and good-natured
that she could be the senator from Stepford.
70's feminism produced the squat and blunt Betty Friedan, this decade has produced
the sensual and zaftig Nigella Lawson, who wryly calls herself a "domestic
goddess" and is a purveyor of what fans call "gastro porn." More
of a male fantasy than Stepford husbands could ever conjure up, the British cooking
show hostess is always in the kitchen purring hot home economics advice such as
mangoes are "best eaten in their natural state, and preferably in the bath."
even a retro trend among women toward deserting the fast track for a pleasant
life of sitting around Starbucks gabbing with their girlfriends, baby strollers
beside them, logging time at the gym to firm up for the he-man C.E.O. at home.
Mr. Rudnick slyly points out: "Men and women are working in tandem to create
the Stepford wife of tomorrow. Once the technology advances, there'll be a Botox
babe who runs on solar power."
Stepping Up In Stepford
The Hartford Courant
June 12, 2003
are starting to look a little bit different in the town of Stepford, where men
are men and women are robots.
remake of "The Stepford Wives," which will start production in Norwalk
and New Canaan this summer (besides New York), has two replacement stars. Bette
Midler will take the place of the originally announced Joan Cusack in the role
of Bobbie Markowe, who plays the best friend to Nicole Kidman's character, Joanna
Eberhart. Matthew Broderick will replace John Cusack as Walter Eberhart, Joanna's
reason for the Cusacks' departure was given as "personal." However,
it may have been because of the illness and death of their father, actor Richard
Cusack, who died June 2 of cancer at 77.
rooms are buzzing with comments about how they love the new replacements ("Bette's
divine") or hate them ("Bette's too old").
there are fears it will be too campy and more like a black comedy.
they're talking about it.
let's recap, shall we? Besides Kidman, Midler and Broderick, there also will be
Glenn Close, Christopher Walken, Faith Hill and Roger Bart.
know about you, but Java plans to camp near the set for a few days to see the
stars. If it means I have to shlep coffee to Guy Ortoleva, director of the Connecticut
Film Office, and be an obedient robotic reporter, so be it.
office has heard from "an incredible number of people who want to be extras."
there won't be any casting calls in Connecticut.
there are production jobs and a production workshop scheduled soon in Norwalk.
Goes For Laughs
SCI FI Wire
De Line, producer of the upcoming remake of The Stepford Wives, told SCI FI Wire
that the film reinvents the story by going for laughs, but preserves the central
SF premise: The men of a Connecticut village have replaced their wives with robots.
"You can remake something, [or] you can do it in a way where you take iconic
elements of an original and then make it original again for its time," De
Line said in an interview. "That's what is done with The Stepford Wives,
[which] completely turns it on its head, because it's a comedy."
on Bryan Forbes' 1975 movie and Ira Levin's novel—starts filming June 16 in
New York, with a cast that includes Nicole Kidman, Bette Midler, Glenn Close
and Matthew Broderick, De Line said. Frank Oz directs from Paul Rudnick's script.
confirmed on the Caroline Rhea show that she indeed is making the sequel to the
very strange, "The Stepford Wives". She spoke of Nicole Kidman ad being
beautiful and an OSCAR WINNER (ya had to be there)... and also very tall. It will
be interesting to see them side by side. She also said that this version would
play up the comedic aspect more than the original. Fine by me!
Adams' column in the New York Post states that the whole of "The
Stepford Wives" will be filmed in New York...Long Island City...at Kaufman
Astoria Studios. The shoot should last several months.
Variety reports that
production on the movie starts June 3, 2003 in New York City
Production Company: Scott
Rudin Productions (Of Note To BetteHeads: First Wive's Club)
Date: Tentatively May 2004
Nicole Kidman (Joanna Eberhart)
Bette Midler (Bobbie Markowitz)
Broderick/Tentative (Mr. Eberhart)
Director: Frank Oz (The Score, Bowfinger,
In & Out, What About Bob?, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, not to mention the voice
Screenwriter: Paul Rudnick
(Sister Act, In & Out, Jeffrey, Isn't She Great?, Addams Family
Values; Marci X) A true BetteHead if there ever was one. If you remember,
Mr. Rudnick had written Sister Act specifically for Ms. Midler. Of course, she
rues the day she turned that part down:-) Whoopi ended up taking her place. Mr.
Rudnick also referred to Bette and Beaches in the critically acclaimed
movie, In & Out. Of course they finally collaborated on the critically
panned, but much beloved by BetteHeads, Isn't She Great? With Rudnick
at the helm, this version will probably lean more towards the comedic side than
Based Upon: The novel, The
Stepford Wives, by Ira Levin, who also wrote the novels that inspired Rosemary's
Baby,The Boys from Brazil, Sliver, A Kiss Before Dying. and Deathtrap (remember
Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve had a big on-screen kiss that scared the hell
out of straight men everywhere!). The novel was previously adapted as a 1975 film
starring Katharine Ross, Paula Prentiss, and Tina Louise, which was followed by
three made-for-TV sequels, Revenge of the Stepford Wives (1980), 'The Stepford
Children' (1987) and 'The Stepford Husbands' (1996).
Joanna (Kidman) and her husband (Broderick?)) move to the beautiful upper-class
suburb of Stepford, where she soon starts to suspect something is strange and
artificial about her new female neighbors. The wives, living in the houses around
them, all seem to be too perfect, with bland, character-less personalities. Everyone
that is, except her new friend Bobbie (Midler), who as a cranky, sarcastic,
non-exercising alcoholic, still has some semblance of personality and independence.
As Joanna and Bobbie investigate their neighbors further, they discover that there
is indeed something artificial about them, something... robotic, the result of
the husbands banding together to replace their human wives with cyborg copies
who are subservient, sexually compliant and devoid of any distinguishing character
traits. Will they have bigger tits? Assuredly so, I presume. (Roger Bart, from
the Broadway hit, "The Producers", plays a gay confidante of
Kidman's character who ends up getting "straightened out") This character
was definitely not in the original, so one can see that liberties will and have
been taken. Sounds great to me!
is scheduled to start in June, 2003 in New York City; another location is supposedly
is Fairfield County, Connecticut
I must thank UpcomingMovies
(a fabulous site) for alot of this material......Love, Mister D