In the rustic suburban village of Eastwick, lives three seemingly ordinary women who possess unique personalities and lead very distinctive lives. Roxanne "Roxie" Torcolleti (Rebecca Romijn), an uninhibited artist and a financially-challenged single mom, Kat Gardener (Jaime Ray Newman), a frustrated wife and an overworked mother of five, and Joanna Frankel (Lindsay Price), a shy and subdued newspaper reporter, are suddenly brought together through a strange encounter at the town park. As different as these women are, they are united by one common yearning - excitement and change in their lives.
Incidentally, a charismatic yet enigmatic man named Darryl Van Horne (Paul Gross) arrives in town determined to make their wishes come true. With Van Horne's help, Roxie, Kat, and Joanne soon discover their extraordinary talents and harness them to fulfill their innermost desires. As these enchanting women unleash their magical powers, Eastwick, once peaceful and idyllic, is never quite the same.
Based on the novel of John Updike and the popular 1987 film adaptation, Eastwick also stars Ashley Benson as Roxie's daughter Mia, Jon Bernthal as Kat's husband Raymond, Johann Urb as Joanna's boss Will, Sara Rue as Roxie's best friend Penny, and Veronica Cartwright as Bun Waverly, the head of the Eastwick Historical Society. Created by Maggie Friedman for the small screen, the ABC dramedy is produced by Warner Bros. Television.
Now, lets take a look back and see how it all began...
The Witches of Eastwick originated as a novel by John Updike which was published in 1984.
The story, set in the fictional Rhode Island town of Eastwick in the late 1960s, follows the witches Alexandra Spofford, Jane Smart, and Sukie Rougemont, who acquired their powers after leaving or being left by their husbands. Their coven is upset by the arrival of a devil-like character, Darryl Van Horne. The mysterious Darryl seduces each of the women, encouraging them to play with their powers and creating a scandal in the town. The three women share Darryl in relative peace until he unexpectedly marries their young, innocent friend, Jenny, whom they resolve to have revenge on by giving her cancer through their magic. The witches doubt their judgment after Jenny's death when Darryl flees town with her younger brother, Chris, apparently his lover. In his wake he leaves their relationships strained and their sense of self in doubt. Eventually they each summon their ideal men and leave town. The Widows of Eastwick, John Updike's sequel to The Witches of Eastwick, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in October 2008.
.The Film Version.
The Witches of Eastwick, released in 1987 starred Cher, Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pheiffer as three lonely women who live in the town of Eastwick who make a request for the perfect man over drinks one stormy evening. Unbeknownst to them at the time, when three are together - magic happens and their wish is granted. Their perfect man comes to them in the form of Daryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson), also known as the Devil. He helps to bring the magic out of them and things, as they so do, spiral out of control. When the ladies realize that things are going too far they want to get out -- but Daryl wont let them.
.Dialogue to Die For.
Daryl Van Horne: "I see men running around trying to put their dicks into everything, trying to make something happen... but it's WOMEN who are the source... the only power. Nature, birth, rebirth. Cliche? Cliche... sure... but true."
Alexandra Medford: "Are you married?"
Daryl Van Horne: "Good question! You see, brains! The answer is no, I don't believe in it. Good for the man, lousy for the woman. She dies, she suffocates. I've see it! And then the husband runs around complaining that he's fucking a dead person, and he's the one who killed her!"
The Witches of Eastwick was filmed in Massachusetts, USA.
Bill Murray was originally cast to play Daryl Van Horne.
Anjelica Huston was auditioned for the role of Alex, but she was passed over for the part which eventually went to Cher.
Cher, dissatisfied with her part, expressed interest in playing the role assigned to Susan Sarandon; the parts were recast before the first day of filming, but Sarandon was apparently not informed of the change until she showed up on location, causing a rift between actors and studio executives that contributed to escalating tensions on set.
Director George Miller admitted the difficult relationship between himself and the producers, which became so strained that Miller began refusing to shoot scenes until production demands were met. When the studio executives responded by threatening to replace him as director, they were faced with a counter-threat from Jack Nicholson who supported Miller.
Sarandon learned to play the cello for her role as a music teacher.
A live size animatronic puppet was made of actress Veronica Cartwright for the cherry pit vomiting scene. It gathered a lot of attention on set because it could realistically thrash about convulsively and spew out massive amounts of vomit on cue. However, preview audiences found the sequence too disgusting and all the shots involving the puppet were cut out of the film.
Michelle Pfeiffer got a cold sore during the filming of The Witches of Eastwick but the director didn’t stop filming or have it covered up, because they thought it added depth to her character and what she was going through at that point of the film.
Filming the scene with numerous snakes, Cher reportedly quipped, "Which one is Jon Peters?", referring to one of the producers of the film.
The two photos below are from a deleted scene or an alternate ending.
During filming Cher and Michelle Pheiffer went to a local high school with home-made t-shirt's reading 'Eastwick High' and hung out on the football feild with the cheerleaders.
Composer John Williams' own whistling was dubbed in over Jack Nicholson's for the scene in at the ice cream counter.
The SFX quality was good enough to win the BAFTA Award in 1987. The music by John Williams earned him an Oscar and Grammy nomination. Nicholson's over the top performance won him both the NY & LA Critics Choice Awards.
.Previous Television Versions.
This new adaptation is actually the third television version of The Witches of Eastwick. The first adaption was an unsold pilot for NBC in 1992. It starred Julia Campbell [Best known for her role as the mean girl Christy Masters in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion but has TONS of guest spot roles under her belt] as Jane Hollis (Susan Sarandon's character in the film), Catherine Mary Stewart [Whom has been in numerous made for TV movies] as Sukie Ridgemont (Michelle Pfeiffer's character in the film), Ally Walker [Best known for her role as Dr. Samantha 'Sam' Waters in TV's Profiler] as Alexandra Spofford (Cher's character in the film) and Michael Siberry as Darryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson's character in the film).
Ten years later, the second adaption of The Witches of Eastwick also wound up as an unsold pilot, this time for FOX. The 2002 version featured Marcia Cross [Desperate Housewives] as Jane (Susan's character), Kelly Rutherford [Gossip Girl] as Alexandra (Cher's character) and Lori Loughlin [90210 & Full House] as Sukie (Michelle's character), and Jason O'Mara [Most recently seen as Detective Sam Tyler on TV's Life on Mars] as Darryl. It also starred Fantastic Four's Chris Evans and Mean Girl's Jonathan Bennett.
Have an enchanted evening -