Netflix’s star wattage continues to impress. The streaming service has acquired “Divanation,” a comedy that will star three of Hollywood’s funniest leading ladies : Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton.
Deadline reports that the blonde trio would play “members of a once-popular singing group forced to reconnect after their volatile split and 30 year estrangement” in the feature. Lisa Addario (“Surf’s Up”) co-wrote the script. A director hasn’t been hired yet.
While it’s definitely noteworthy to see these three huge names coming together on a project, “Divanation” won’t actually be the first time Midler, Hawn and Keaton have appeared onscreen together.
Back in 1996 — yes, nearly 20 years ago — they starred in the revenge comedy “The First Wives Club,” which grossed over $180 million worldwide on a budget of less than $30 million. A sequel never came into fruition because of salary disputes.
Hawn has revealed that she and her costars took a pay cut on the film. The studio didn’t want to risk much money on the project because the stars were “all women of a certain age,” and an audience’s willingness to see this demographic on the big screen was questioned.
According to Hawn’s account — and box office receipts confirm it — the film did “incredibly well” and was “hugely successful.” Sounds like a follow-up would be a no-brainer. The problem was that the studio didn’t want to pay the trio what they deserved, and instead tried to offer them “exactly the same deal” as the original film — the deal that saw them take a smaller back end than usual as well as a smaller front end than usual. “Had three men come in there, they would have upped their salaries without even thinking about it,” Hawn observed.
The Hollywood pay gap is being talked about now more than ever, but it’s hardly a new issue.
Deadline suggests that buying “Divanation” is evidence that Netflix “is looking to broaden [its] demographic.” The streaming site did just renew “Grace and Frankie” for a third season in a big show of support for the Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin series — its second season hasn’t even aired yet.