Greta Gerwig's 'Little Women': Release date, plot, cast, and everything you need to know about the remake of the classic novel
Gerwig will retell the evergreen story of the March Sisters with her own personal spins to the tale that has been popular ever since the publication of its first volume in 1868
One of the most highly anticipated remakes of the year has been yet another on-screen adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's 'Little Women' — a story way ahead of its time, and simultaneously timeless. The original book, known for its feminist character with progressive ideals, has been turned into four major Hollywood adaptations in the past, and a whole other slew of television miniseries, the most recent one being the BBC show released just last year. But this time, the film adaptation comes from Gretta Gerwig, who will retell the evergreen story of the March Sisters with her own personal spins to the tale that has been popular ever since the publication of its first volume in 1868.
'Little Women' arrives on the biggest holiday of the year, Christmas. Watch out for the March sisters to grace your screen this December 25, 2019.
The story in Gerwig's upcoming remake will definitely follow Alcott's original, but here's the catch: Gerwig, like we mentioned above, is reportedly spinning her unique style and not adopting the direct chronological order of events from the book. A little known fact is that the 'Little Women' story is actually of two volumes — one focusing on the titular women's childhood, as they grow up amidst poverty in the Civil War era, and the other documenting their introduction to the modern world. Gerwig's adaptation will follow the latter, taking incidents from the first volume as material inserted into the tale in the form of flashbacks.
"It's really taking a look at what it is for a young woman to enter the adult world," producer Robin Swicord — who had helmed one of the most popular existing film adaptations of the story, had previously told The Los Angeles Times. There's also an active jump in the narration of Gerwig's version, between the current timeline and the flashbacks, which is also going to turn the upcoming adaptation more about themes, than the narrative. "It's very adult and interesting and thoughtful… and, of course, given the material, it's always going to be romantic," Swicord says. "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."
Saoirse Ronan, who plays the role of Jo, the most progressive and modern of the March sisters, has also shared in a Vanity Fair interview that "we wanted to explore as much of Louisa's real story as we could. Her life was a lot darker than what she allowed for in the book." Meaning, there will be more of Alcott's personal tidbits incorporated into the character of Jo than we have known her to inhabit from the book.
It might be quite the tough challenge to surpass the 1994 adaptation of Alcott's book starring Winona Ryder as Jo and Christian Bale as Laurie (one of the leading male characters.) But knowing Gerwig's expertise displayed through her Oscar-nominated solo directing debut 'Ladybird', it's not hard to deduce that the upcoming adaptation will be anything short of enthralling. Gerwig also told Vanity Fair, "This feels like an autobiography. When you live through a book, it almost becomes the landscape of your inner life. It becomes part of you, in a profound way."
Ronan, who was also Gerwig's leading lady for 'Ladybird', is onboard to play Jo March — a character that has been passed down through generations as an iconic emblem of American girls. Jo is the second oldest of the March sisters, but she is also the most modern, independent-minded, and progressive characters, that was, to some extent, based on Alcott's own personality as she too wants to be a writer.
The 'Call Me by Your Name' breakthrough star will play Theodore Laurence, aka Laurie or Teddy, who even though seems like a kindred spirit to the March sisters, ends up treating them as romantic prospects later on, thus stubbing Jo's affinity for him in the process.
We have loved her as Hermione Granger, and as Princess Belle in the past, so there's no doubt that she is the Meg March our generation needs for sure. Being the eldest of the March sisters, Meg represents the signature most practical, almost mother-like figure to her sisters, while simultaneously helping their mother cope through the hardships of life.
Hollywood's forever golden queen will appear as Great aunt March in Gerwig's adaptation of the tale, which also shifts a lot of focus from the March sibling's mother, Marmee, to their aunt, when it comes to significance. While Marmee is the fully adult mother figure in the books, and Aunt March is just an unpleasant character, given Streep's casting in the role, it's clear that Aunt March will be of higher value in Gerwig's adaptation than any other version of the story has seen before.
Joining the cast is Florence Pugh, as Amy March — the youngest March sister who just wants to marry a rich man, going along the gender dynamics established at the time. Eliza Scanlen joins as Beth March, the sweetest, most ill-fated sister out of the four, while Laura Dern plays their mother, Marmee. The film also features James Norton as John Brooke — Teddy's tutor with a keenness for Meg, Louis Garrel as the new immigrant, Professor Friedrich Bhaer, and Bob Odenkirk and Chris Cooper in roles that haven't been disclosed yet.
Unfortunately, a trailer hasn't been released yet. But to make up for that, there have been plenty of production stills released exclusively by Vanity Fair.
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