We announced back in 2018 that Ladybird director Greta Gerwig would be directing a new adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s famous novel Little Women. There were rumors that a number of high-profile actresses would be taking on roles in the production, though who they were play was still up in the air. Now we’ve finally gotten the first trailer so we can see what Gerwig will do with the story:
The film follows the March sisters, with Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy living in post-Civil War New England as they grow up. Jo is played by Saoirse Ronan, Meg is played by Emma Watson, Ami is played by Florence Pugh (of Midsommar fame), and Beth is played by Eliza Scanlen (who was in HBO’s Sharp Objects). Timothée Chalamet play neighbor, friend and love interest Teddy, James Norton is Meg’s husband John, Laura Dern is the matriarch Marmee March, and Meryl Streep as Aunt March. Though we don’t see them in the trailer, we do know that Bob Odenkirk is cast as Mr. March, their father, and Louis Garrel as Friedrich Bhaer, Jo’s eventual love interest.
The trailer definitely gives you a sense that Gerwig is modernizing the text a bit. While the events of the book look to be the same (so yes, guys, Beth is probably going to die), the dialogue is taking on a more modern feminist spin. Now, that’s not a bad thing nor is out of line with the book — if anything, Alcott’s original was pushing gender boundaries of its time in terms of the traditional romance story and her characters were nuanced in ways that were rare. This also aligns with Gerwig’s interest as a filmmaker, as her movies tend to focus on female-centric narratives about finding oneself and better understanding family. The dialogue in the trailer is certainly moving and thoughtful, so hopefully the full product will be as well.
Little Women will premiere in theaters on December 25, 2019.