Greta Gerwig may direct a Little Women movie adaptation that features multiple Oscar winners and Oscar nominees alike. Gerwig made her solo directorial debut on last year's Best Picture nominated coming of age dramedy Lady Bird, after years of collaborating as a writer/actor with Noah Baumbach on acclaimed indie films like Frances Ha and Mistress America. Sony originally recruited Gerwig to rewrite its developing Little Women film, but it seems the talented storyteller is on the verge of formally committing to helm the project too.
Little Women, of course, is based on Louisa May Alcott's beloved novel (which was published in the 1860s) and focuses on the experiences of the March sisters (Amy, Beth, Jo, and Meg) as they come of age in early post-Civil War North America. Their story has been adapted for TV, film, and even musical theater over the years, with one of the best-known adaptations being Gillian Armstrong's 1994 movie starring Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes, Susan Sarandon, and Christian Bale, among others name actors. It appears that Gerwig is eying a similarly star-studded cast for her own Little Women film adaptation.
According to Variety, Oscar-winning machine Meryl Streep and fellow Academy Award winner Emma Stone are in talks for Gerwig's Little Women adaptation, along with the director's Lady Bird stars Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet. The outlet further reports that Ronan would play Jo (the protagonist of the story), with Stone playing Meg, Streep playing Marmee (the March family matriarch), and Chalamet appearing as Laurie Laurence (the love interest role that Bale played in the 1994 film). Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth) is also in talks to play Amy in the adaptation.
Assuming all of these pieces fall into place as anticipated, Gerwig is expected to set to work filming Little Women as soon as the second half of this year. That would set the film on its way to becoming an awards season contender in next year's race - or failing that, a prestigious end of year film release for Sony. Timing should work out nicely too, what with most of the film's cast either coming off shooting big projects (see Ronan in Mary Queen of Scots and Streep in Big Little Lies season 2) or part-way through their current ventures already (see Chalamet on on Netflix's now-filming The King).
All in all, Gerwig sounds like a great pick to bring Little Women back to the big screen. The story hits upon many of the same coming of age themes that Gerwig has excelled at tackling in the past, and her attention to detail in realizing the settings of her movies (see Sacramento in Lady Bird, for example) would further serve the period drama well from a production design standpoint. With Gerwig at the helm and the cast she already has lined up, it's difficult to imagine Little Women not being something special when it hits theaters.
We will bring you more information on Little Women as it becomes available.