If There Really Had Been a The First Wives Club Sequel

With Goldie Hawn’s candid reveal about why The First Wives Club never had a sequel, it leaves one wondering what the premise of the second installment might have entailed. Depending on how long after 1996 the film might have been made, would we have seen a female screenwriter pen the sequel instead of the original co-writers, Robert Harling (known for Steel Magnolias) and Paul Rudnick (writer of other 90s staples The Addams Family and Sister Act), who picked up the slack when Harling abandoned the script to work on the sequel to Terms of Endearment? There are many question marks about The First Wives Club 2, which I would like to think would have been called The Second Wives Club.

From left to right: Bette Midler as Brenda Morelli, Goldie Hawn as Elise Elliot and Diane Keaton as Annie MacDuggan
From left to right: Bette Midler as Brenda Morelli, Goldie Hawn as Elise Elliot and Diane Keaton as Annie MacDuggan

One imagines Diablo Cody or Sofia Coppola taking the helm of the screenplay to transform it into something even kitschier and more empowering than the first. The plot would center around how Brenda (Bette Midler), Elise (Hawn) and Annie (Diane Keaton) all succumbed to getting re-married to men half their age, who were at first allured by the trappings of wealth that come with dating a powerful older woman. Ultimately, however, their dick would get the better of them and they would cheat on these second wives (a tainting of the term in its original form, meaning a wife who is the second after another man’s marriage, therefore creating a more dynamic female connotation).

Mourning the death of her best friend, Cynthia Swann (Stockard Channing), who committed suicide after her husband cheated on her
Mourning the death of her best friend, Cynthia Swann (Stockard Channing), who committed suicide after her husband cheated on her

With the three of them forced to take vengeance once again, new methods of destruction of an even more devious nature would come to fruition (e.g. Myra Breckinridge-level humiliation). Cameos by the likes of Madonna, Lindsay Lohan and, once again, Maggie Smith and Sarah Jessica Parker (whose character would by now finally know the pain of being cast aside for a younger model) would add to the camp of it all, culminating in one massive sleepover where a rap remix of Lesley Gore‘s “You Don’t Own Me” is sung by all.

"You Don't Own Me"
“You Don’t Own Me”

But sadly, we will never know the pleasure of a sequel to this quintessential film about female empowerment because, as Hawn stated,

We were all women of a certain age, and everyone took a cut in salary to do it so the studio could make what it needed. We all took a smaller back end than usual and a much smaller front end. And we ended up doing incredibly well. The movie was hugely successful. It made a lot of money. We were on the cover of Time magazine. But two years later, when the studio came back with a sequel, they wanted to offer us exactly the same deal. We went back to ground zero. Had three men come in there, they would have upped their salaries without even thinking about it. But the fear of women’s movies is embedded in the culture.”

Maybe if that fear ever subsides, we’ll have a chance at seeing the three women reunited on the silver screen.