This past year, BBC/PBS undertook the task of adapting Louisa May Alcott’s timeless classic, Little Women. Penned by the talented screenwriter, Heidi Thomas (Call the Midwife), this Little Women adaptation wasn’t quite what I’d hoped, but it was still delightful.
Recently, not too soon after the PBS version aired, we learned there’s yet another Little Women adaptation in the works. This time, however, the story has set its sight on the big screen, following in the footsteps of the 1994 theatrical version.
The Classic Story
As we all probably know by now, the story of Little Women follows the four March sisters in Civil War-era Massachusetts. As the years go by, the sisters grow to adulthood, discovering dreams, experiencing heartbreak, and finding love with unexpected suitors along the way.
Inside its story serves as a reminder of why we root for, appreciate and respect old-fashioned storytelling. Jo’s feisty personality inspired Louisa May Alcott to write a story about a dreamer ahead of her time. Today, Josephine March continues to inspire many a dreamer.
But it’s also a story that touches the hearts of readers everywhere. Each one of us can see ourselves in a sister. Or Two. And with that much adoration for the stories and characters, expectations are high. We want the perfect cast. The perfect Jo. The perfect Laurie and Marmee. Thankfully, the rumors are floating abundantly as to who’s in the cast and who is poised to direct. Here’s what we know so far about this new adaptation.
What We Know: Little Women Adaptation – the Director and the Cast
This month, Variety exclusively broke this news and reports that Greta Gerwig is being courted by Columbia Pictures to assume the role of director. Previously, Gerwig found success with Lady Bird.
Among the rumored (or “in talks”) cast is Meryl Streep, Emma Stone (The Help, La La Land), Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan and Timothee Chalamet (both of whom co-starred in Gerwig’s Lady Bird). All names that have established themselves in Hollywood whether it’s through a multitude of memorable roles or a recent dynamic role.
When it comes to this cast, I must say, I’m impressed. At first impression, some of them might not seem suited to this kind of period piece, but on reflection, I think this is a solid group of women.
At first, rumors circulated Emma Stone would step into the role of the rebel Jo. Variety reported that “the studio was expected to test a handful of actresses opposite Stone for the role of Beth before the July 4 holiday.” Since it’s Jo who has the special bond with Beth, this seemed a possibility.
However, recent reports have offered up clearer clues. Hollywood Reporter revealed that it’s actually Emma who’d play Meg March, Saoirse who’d step into the shoes of Jo, and Timothee as Laurie. Florence Pugh has been cast as Amy.
I must say, as talented as Saoirse is, I’m not sure I personally “see” her in the role of Jo. Don’t mistake me, everything I’ve seen her in she’s been good, and she’s no stranger to period drama (Brooklyn, Atonement), but still… I just don’t picture her as suited to this iconic role. That being said, she could definitely prove me wrong.
Despite other earlier speculation that Meryl Streep would be playing Marmee March, LA Times says Streep will assume the role of the girl’s bossy Aunt March. Intriguing, isn’t it?
In a surprising twist, the original screenwriter of the 1994 adaptation, Robin Swicord, happens to also be producing this new adaptation! In a recent post with the LA Times, she said: “Greta has a wonderfully associative, well-furnished mind…Her take on the novel more than convinced us that we could bring something new to the screen.”
Swicord also goes on to explain the unique focus of the new adaptation. Rather than focusing on the entire novel, it’s going to instead focus more on the sisters when they leave home. She says, “It’s really taking a look at what it is for a young woman to enter the adult world.” Though, no worries there will still be flashbacks, so you’ll still get the full story.
But what about the romance? Swicord reveals, “It’s very adult and interesting and thoughtful … and, of course, given the material, it’s always going to be romantic.”
In all, it sounds like it’s going to be a positive look and a unique exploration of the beloved characters.
As of now, the film will likely begin filming in October in Boston with a tentative 2019 release.
Excitement, in general, is my reaction to all the news about the latest Little Women adaptation. However, I do have some “first impression” qualms.
Overall, however, and despite the fact that not everyone sounds to be my “ideal” cast for these roles, I’m still excited about this new project. Little Women is without question one of my favorite stories. (I’ve even seen this one as a musical in a local outdoor theater stage production.) This is why seeing its release on the big-screen (I didn’t see the 1994 adaptation at the theater) would, for me, be an experience. Here’s hoping it recaptures some of that timeless joy of the 1994 Little Women adaptation.
Now it’s your turn, readers. I’m curious: What are your thoughts about this new Little Women adaptation? Are you excited? Do you think this cast has the potential to pull off these roles? What do you want to see from this new adaptation? Drop a comment down below!Pin this article to read later! And make sure to follow us on Pinterest.