Little Women is getting a new adaption, but this time it's being handled by Greta Gerwig. In case you're unfamiliar, Gerwig is an actress, screenwriter, and director best known for single-handedly writing and directing 2017's coming-of-age hit, Lady Bird.
Little Women began as a novel by Louisa May Alcott. It has since appeared onscreen multiple times, with the 1994 film starring Winona Ryder becoming the most well-known of the bunch. The classic coming-of-age story tells of the March sisters who work through their dreams and struggles after the Civil War.
The latest retelling stars Saorise Ronan as Jo, Emma Watson as Meg, Florence Pugh as Amy, Eliza Scalen as Beth, and Timothée Chalamet as Laurie. And while every adaption of the novel varies slightly, they all tend to include the same key plot points and memorable moments. We're here to dive into everything we can't wait to see in the latest adaption. Just be warned that if you've never had the pleasure of reading or watching Little Women, there are major spoilers below.
10 Friedrich Bhaer
The earlier adaptions of Little Women see Jo eventually falling for Friedrich Bhaer, a German professor she meets while in New York. While he is absent from the trailer, he is set to appear in the story and will be played by Louis Garrel.
This casting will likely make him more appealing to audiences, as usually, he is played by someone much older than Jo. Garrel is only 11 years older than Ronan, which is quite a stark difference when compared to the romance portrayed in 1994's Little Women by Winona Ryder and Gabriel Byrne. He was 21 years older than her.
9 Jo's Haircut
One notable scene in prior Little Women adaptions sees Jo cutting her hair and selling it to a wig maker in order to pay for Marmee's travel. This scene is a big deal, as it shows Jo's sacrificial heart and how much she really cares for her family under all those layers of stubbornness.
Women just didn't cut their hair short during the time period and doing so is daring, drawing attention to her family and self. The new trailer doesn't show Jo's hair reveal, but we'd be shocked if the filmmakers didn't keep this iconic scene in.
8 Lots Of Meryl Streep
The title of this entry should speak for itself. Meryl Streep is the most nominated actor in Academy Award history, having received seventeen nominations for Best Actress and four for Best Supporting Actress since her performance in the Deer Hunter in 1978. She's won three times for her work, and pushing aside her critical success for a second, who doesn't love Meryl Streep?
She will be playing the wealthy and cold Aunt March, who favors Amy over Jo. Though her appearance in the trailer is brief, fans are living for her sass. We need more, and we need it now.
7 Female Empowerment
Jo has always been a strong female role model. She defies the expectations of her time by chasing after her dreams to become a writer instead of settling down and complacently getting married because it's what she's "supposed to do."
If the trailer is of any indicator of what's to come, we're confident the new film will continue to carry this theme of independence. In fact, Jo can be heard explaining how incredible women are in the trailer, soon exclaiming, "I'm so sick of people saying that love is just all a woman is fit for." The feminist energy in this movie isn't simply there to be entertaining; rather, it's important.
6 Jo and Laurie's Party Dance
Jo and Laurie first meet each other at a party. Jo, not wanting to dance in public, ends up dancing with Laurie in the halls where no one can see them. This moment has always been magnetic in past adaptions, as for a moment, it seems that the two are a match made in heaven. Eventually Jo determines they're too similar to ever be together romantically, but this early moment is absent of future worries; it's simply full of joy.
The trailer gives us a glimpse into this scene, with Jo explaining to Laurie that she scorched her dress and doesn't want people to see. That's why they prance around behind the curtains, and we're ready to see the full thing play out.
5 Really, Just Laurie In General
Theodore "Laurie" Laurence, the boy who lives next door to the March sisters and forms a fast friendship with Jo, is portrayed by Timothée Chalamet in the newest adaption. Their dynamic together is always interesting, and while it may seem that they'll end up together for a hot second, Laurie will ultimately marry Jo's younger sister, Amy.
While some fans of the 1994 film think Chalamet is too pretty and charming for the role, believing Christian Bale already perfectly portrayed Laurie onscreen, others think Chalamet fits the bill perfectly. Nevertheless, Twitter is obsessed with how incredible his hair looks throughout the new trailer.
4 Meg's Character Development
Meg is very different than Jo. Rather than pursuing some wild dream, she is content with domestic life and ends up marrying Laurie's tutor, John Brooke.
While in some screen adaptions she seems too complacent, others have given her a louder voice. And being that Meg is played by the talented and fierce Emma Watson, we're confident she will stand up for herself even though she's chosen a path different from her younger sisters. We want to see it happen.
3 Jo's Plays
During her early life, Jo is known to write and put on many plays with her sisters. The trailer shows glimpses of this, with the sisters performing for a small audience and Jo laying out many pages of her writing. She can also be seen at a formal production with Laurie, Meg, and someone who appears to be John Brooke.
Nevertheless, Jo's self-made plays show a lot of her personality. In past adaptions, she's had no fear playing male characters and filling other roles with the acting talents of her sisters and Laurie. The plays represent all of Jo's big dreams, simultaneously bringing the gang together. This makes these scenes incredibly lovable.
2 Amy's Revamped Personality
Amy is a controversial character, as in many adaptions, she's a drag. It's especially hard to root for her because she ends up fulfilling the life Jo should have had by marrying Laurie and taking her place in Europe to pursue art. This wouldn't be a huge problem, except Jo is built up to be the heroine we're rooting for and Amy is positioned as someone who is selfish.
The newest adaptions seem to fix this by making Amy earn her dreams. From the trailer, it appears that she works hard to get where she wants to be instead of having it all handed to her. It might be easier to feel excited for Amy this time around.
1 A Strong Ending
Though the book ties everything up with all the girls married off, most of the film adaptions, most famously the 1994 version, concludes with Jo accepting Friedrich Bhaer's marriage proposal in the rain. This is, in a way, still a tidy ending.
While it's definitely possible the story will get a similar conclusion, its strong female-forward themes make us wonder whether Gerwig is going to surprise us. Sure, if we do get that iconic under-the-umbrella finale, we won't complain. However, is she throws in a twist, we would be just as excited.