The first picture from the set has just been released — it shows the four sisters setting out in the snow wearing an excellent array of knitwear. The hype is set to reach fever pitch in the forthcoming months, starting right here with a breakdown of the big names, and everything we know so far.
Greta Gerwig, Director
Gerwig’s involvement began when she was asked to redraft the film’s script. At the time, she was still writing her directorial debut Lady Bird, which garnered outstanding reviews upon its release. So Little Women aficionados can sit tight, safe in the knowledge that the project’s in the hands of a woman who’s proved she’s adept at portraying the complex specificities of young women embarking on adulthood.
Saoirse Ronan, Jo March
Winona Ryder was iconic as the bookish tomboy Jo in the 1994 film, so Ronan has big shoes to fill. However, the young star of Atonement has gone from strength to strength in the last couple of years, receiving praise for her performances in On Chesil Beach and The Seagull. In Lady Bird, Ronan portrayed a stubborn teenager finding herself and her place in the world with nuance and depth; working with Gerwig again, she’s got the experience and gumption to excel as everyone’s favourite Alcott character.
Emma Watson, Meg March
In some ways, Watson seems like more of a Jo than a Meg—she cut her teeth playing bookish characters, like Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter franchise and Disney’s Belle in the 2017 live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. But the more you think about it, the more suited she seems to the role of pretty, bossy, well-behaved and domestic Meg. Let’s hope that her portrayal of the sometimes unlikeable Meg brings out the eldest little woman’s more sympathetic side.
Meryl Streep, Aunt March
A departure from her recent reprise as Mamma Mia!’s Donna, Streep won’t be singing or dancing in this role. Still, we can’t wait to see her as the irritatingly particular Aunt March, who clashes with Jo and controversially favours her little sister. Her portrayal should be part Miranda Priestly — who, like Aunt March, is demanding and frequently unreasonable — and part Emmeline Pankhurst, stern and autonomous.
Timothée Chalamet, Laurie Laurence
Another Lady Bird veteran, Chalamet is having a never-ending moment: he’s got no fewer than four films on the go, including a Netflix historical drama and a Wes Anderson adventure. Still, Christian Bale’s rendering of Laurie in the 1994 film has all our hearts, so Chalamet’s got a lot to live up to. Fortunately, his Laurie seems styled on Bale’s: with his floppy hair and chiselled jawline, he’s the actor who most resembles his 1994 counterpart.
Florence Pugh, Amy March
After starring in BBC hit series The Little Drummer Girl and the Netflix Original film Outlaw King, both released in 2018, Florence is on the rise. However, it’s perhaps her experience playing Cordelia in King Lear that will be most influential in her portrayal of Amy, except this sweet younger sister has a happy ending.
Eliza Scanlen, Beth March
Scanlen’s filmography is only just getting started, but it already includes a central role in the HBO miniseries Sharp Objects, which thrilled audiences over the summer. At only 19 years old, she’ll be the youngest member of the Little Women cast, in the role of the second youngest sister, who was played by the young Claire Danes in the 1994 adaptation.
Louis Garrel, Friedrich Bhaer
Professor Bhaer is very German; Louis Garrel is very French. How is this going to work? We’re not sure, but we have faith. The charismatic Garrel rose to international fame with Bernando Bertolucci’s racy 2003 film The Dreamers, in which he played a bohemian intellectual—exactly the kind of person a modern-day Jo might be enchanted by, we suspect.
James Norton, John Brooke
In BBC’s War & Peace, Norton consolidated his status as a perfect period drama gentleman, which he first developed as the star of Granchester. Tall and dashing, we think Norton will be a good match for Watson’s delicate Meg. Hopefully they’ll bring their intellects to the roles, and won’t be tempted to slip into British accents.
Laura Dern, Marmee
She's already won four Golden Globes and an Emmy award, Laura Dern is an all-American star. The actor has spent the last couple of years starring in Big Little Lies, alongside Reese Witherspoon, Zoe Kravitz and Nicole Kidman, as well as the most recent Star Wars instalment and Sundance drama The Tale. In Little Women, she’ll take her place at the head of a larger — and distinctly less problematic — family than the one she overseas as Renata Klein in Big Little Lies. We’ll see if she can pull off period dress.
The project isn't straying too far from its roots, as Robin Swicord, who wrote the screenplay for the beloved 1994 film, is a producer on the 2019 adaptation. The upcoming remake will both acknowledge and build on Swicord’s work, as it is said to focus on themes more than narratives.
Gerwig's film will focus on the second part of the novel, after the March sisters leave their home in Massachusetts and enter young adulthood, while allowing an exploration of their bond and individual identities. Swicord has commented that, ‘it’s a clear-eyed approach to the challenges women face as they try to bravely move into new situations’. Stay tuned as the story develops, over what's looking set to be an exciting 2019 already.
|What||Who's who in 2019 Little Women remake?|
25 Dec 19 – 25 Dec 20, TIMES VARY
|Price||£ determined by cinemas|
|Website||Click here for more information|