Greta Gerwig is directing a new adaptation of Little Women and pretty much everyone in Hollywood is here for it.
Saoirse Ronan, Emma Stone, Florence Pugh, and Timothée Chalamet are currently in talks to star, along with none other than Meryl flippin’ Streep. And while many assumed the queen of the Oscars and their gifs would be playing the beloved Marmie, Meryl is actually going to be playing Aunt March. Because she’s one step ahead of us, always.
The Los Angeles Times first broke the story, and points out that the new film will focus more on the March sisters in their young adult years, which likely means more focus on Aunt March and her very contentious selection of which sister to bring to Europe. But, really, “Meryl Streep gets to play any part she wants to play,” as Robin Swicord explained to the Times, as if that wasn’t obvious. Swicord wrote the 1994 version of Little Women and is working on the new adaptation as a producer. The film is expected to begin filming this October in Boston and could be in theaters as soon as next fall.
It was presumed by many that Streep would play Marmie, the March sisters’ beloved mother. But, Swicord tells The Times, Streep will portray Josephine March, the girls’ wealthy, hard-to-please aunt.
Streep’s choice makes sense from an age standpoint, as the 69-year-old actress is closer to the elder March family member’s maturity.
But the acerbic aunt may also be the meatier part in Gerwig’s movie. Though Aunt March hasn’t enjoyed nearly as much screen time as Marmie in most previous film and television adaptations of “Little Women,” Swicord says Gerwig’s screenplay focuses more on the sisters’ young adult lives after they leave the family home.
“It’s really taking a look at what it is for a young woman to enter the adult world,” Swicord says, adding that Gerwig’s screenplay jumps back and forth in time, focusing more on themes than 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.”