Would you watch Greta Gerwig’s version of ‘Little Women’ starring Saoirse Ronan?

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If there was some kind of sporting event that revolved around judging the film & television adaptations of classic books of mostly “women’s literature,” I feel pretty strongly that I would be one of the MVPs. I am addicted to Jane Eyre adaptations, any adaptation of Jane Austen’s novels, and of course, the many adaptations of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Those are some of my favorite books of all time, and I will watch even the worst adaptations of them. And I will judge them. Harshly, in most cases.

The version of Little Women from the 1990s is utter trash: Winona Ryder, bless her heart, was completely wrong as Jo March. Christian Bale was an awful Laurie. Claire Danes was not great as Beth. And Susan G–damn Sarandon will NEVER be MY Marmie. If you ever want to watch an excellent adaptation, watch the 1949 version with a terrible-bangsed June Allyson as Jo, Elizabeth Taylor as Amy and Peter Lawford as Laurie. They stay really close to the book and the performances are excellent. Apparently though, someone thinks there should be another remake. And quite honestly, I’m intrigued.

“Little Women” is drawing big talent. Following her critically acclaimed and Oscar-nominated “Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig is eyeing “Little Women” as her next directing gig. A-listers Meryl Streep, Emma Stone, Saoirse Ronan and Timothee Chalamet are in talks to star in Columbia Pictures’ retelling of the American classic with Florence Pugh also in talks to star. The movie would mark a reunion for Gerwig, Ronan and Chalamet. The young actors starred in 2017’s coming-of-age comedy “Lady Bird.”

The roles are unknown at this time as some castings are still being worked out. Sources tell Variety the studio is expected to test a handful of actresses opposite Stone for the role of Beth before the July 4 holiday.

Gerwig was initially brought in to rewrite a draft, but following “Lady Bird’s” success, Sony amped up pre-production in order to woo Gerwig into picking this as her next movie.

[From Variety]

Here was my reaction, as I read through the list of names:
Greta Gerwig… “Oh, that could be very interesting, a woman director doing Little Women…”
Meryl Streep… “AS MARMIE? Meryl doesn’t have to play EVERY classic character from literature, you know…”
Emma Stone… “Nope, this sh-t is canceled.”
Saoirse Ronan… “Okay, maybe this sh-t is back on.”
Timothee Chalamet… “OMFG TIMOTHEE CHALAMET WOULD BE THE PERFECT LAURIE, THIS FILM NEEDS TO BE MADE RIGHT NOW.”

It seems totally possible that this film, with these people, could end up being really good. If Saoirse is cast as Jo… well, I think out of all the younger actresses out there, Ronan could do it best. I trust her and I trust Greta. But Emma Stone? I’m really not feeling it, but that’s mostly because I don’t believe Emma could play this kind of period character. I mean, Emma as Amy or Meg? Possibly. I’m worried that Emma is going to be shoehorned into the Jo role and Saoirse will end up as another sister, which will be a pain in my ass. Still, if Chalamet ends up playing Laurie, I’m going to be THERE. Good God, that’s inspired casting.

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113 Responses to “Would you watch Greta Gerwig’s version of ‘Little Women’ starring Saoirse Ronan?”

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  1. Patricia says:

    Christian Bale as Laurie was my sexual awakening soooo…. I’m a bit partial to that movie hahahah.

    • Betsy says:

      Were you also a big Newsies fan? That’s where I saw him first (even though he’d been working for a while!).

    • Corrine says:

      @patricia, right there with you, sister

    • lightpurple says:

      He is my Forever Laurie.

    • NIMMY says:

      I still see Christian Bale when I read the books, but I think everyone else was miscast. Susan Sarandon played Marmee perfectly, but I think I would have preferred someone else. The 90′s version is the only version I care for, but I loathe Wynona Rider. My god she was so wrong for that part, lol.

      • anon14 says:

        A young Judy Davis, who played a similar role in My Brilliant Career, remains my dream Jo.

    • Wenco says:

      Same here. I like that movie.

    • DesertReal says:

      Ditto.
      I’d still watch the hell out of this though. I loved Lady Bird and can’t wait to see Greta’s version of this.

  2. Melania says:

    Always the same stories…. I would love some originality in the movies.

    • lightpurple says:

      Alcott wrote other books! She even wrote sequels to Little Women.

      • NIMMY says:

        @LIGHTPURPLE YES! I am still waiting for them to turn Joe’s Boys and Little Men into proper movies. I personally cannot stand Meryl Rape Apologist Pedophile Sympathizer Streep, so her as Marmee abhors me. I HATE what PBS did to the characters. I do love that others love the story as much as I do, though, so at the end of the day I don’t have to watch this to be excited for those who will. I hope that it is as magical for them as the book is for me!

      • minx says:

        Thank you. It’s like four versions of A Star is Born…enough.

    • blank77 says:

      THIS.

      these days it seems like RIP originality….tho Get Out gave me hope originality isnt dead!

  3. Millennial says:

    All these people are way too old for the characters. Ill give you Timothee and Saoirse because at least they look young, but the rest are a no.

    • LT says:

      That was my thought, too. These actresses are way too old to play these parts.

    • magnoliarose says:

      I have to agree. They are too old for these roles. Maybe Little Women 2: The Older Years. The ages are all over the place. This is yet another opportunity to highlight new younger talent and they miss. Millie Bobbie Brown as Beth would have been interesting.

    • Pandy says:

      Yes, Emma is too old to be a sister. Elle Fanning as Beth?

    • Pandy says:

      Yes, Emma is too old to be a sister. Elle Fanning as Beth? Edit: Amy? Been a long time since I’ve read the book.

    • serena says:

      Yup and Saoirse too, I was picturing her as Amy but just the grown up version.

  4. Call_me_al says:

    Both Stone and Streep are too old for those parts! The oldest daughter, Meg, should be in her early 20s by the end of the story, right, so her mother could be mid-40s at most?

    • M says:

      Stone is almost thirty and Meg is sixteen when the story begins. That’s as hard a ‘no’ as I can imagine. She’d be more age-appropriate to play Marmee than Meg.

    • tracking says:

      Agreed. Even aside from age, I find casting Emma as Meg bizarre.

    • Ramona Q. says:

      Yeah, I can’t believe we’re saying the women they’re casting are too OLD … but Streep is 69. She can’t be the mother to teenagers. And those actresses aren’t near teen-age.

    • ccc888 says:

      Meryl could play Aunt March.

  5. Tanesha86 says:

    I’d love to see a remake with women of color personally, it gets old only seeing films made about white people.

    • Melania says:

      This.

    • Malibu Stacy says:

      Exactly. There’s nothing new or groundbreaking here. It should be titled, White Woman Directs Movie With all White Actors. Greta should just stick to what she does best, stealing movie plot lines from women of color… Yes, I am salty today.

      • eto says:

        What’s the T on this??

      • Tanesha86 says:

        Exactly, people don’t even realize she plagiarized Real Women Have Curves and white washed it. I’m over it and I won’t be supporting Greta or Emma.

      • Malibu Stacy says:

        @eto Gerwig stole the entire story, beat for beat, from Real Women Have Curves. “We can’t claim to be inclusive until all women’s stories are equal.” I’ll try to link to the full article. https://www.marieclaire.com/culture/a15931477/lady-bird-real-women-have-curves/

      • jenna says:

        But that’s not actually true, right? That Real Women Have Curves was completely snubbed and ignored upon its release in comparison to the success of Lady Bird doesn’t automatically equal that Greta Gerwig is a plagiarist. Yes, she benefitted from an inherently white-centric and racist system, but that Lady Bird has similar character beats to Real Women Have Curves doesn’t mean that Gerwig literally plagiarised that movie. Both are coming-of-age stories revolving around similar themes. Putting out there that Gerwig literally stole a movie from a WOC is an enormous bending of the truth and irresponsible on your part.

      • Tanesha86 says:

        @Jenna you believe what you want to about the situation but don’t you dare call anyone irresponsible for putting it out there just because you don’t want to believe GG could do that. The original writer/director herself said there were many similarities, so many that she felt she was watching her own film all over again but with white women in the central roles. Maybe you should face the facts?
        http://remezcla.com/film/real-women-have-curves-josefina-lopez-lady-bird/

      • Jenna says:

        But… it’s still not a fact. It’s unbelievably crappy (though completely non-surprising) that Josefina Lopez hasn’t had that same acclaim, and her quotes in the link you posted are heartbreaking. But that’s on the system. It would be great if Gerwig and all successful white people could admit that privilege and uplift POC in the industry too, but it’s still crazy to claim that Gerwig literally plagiarized a movie. It’s baseless beyond “the movies were similar”, and you doubling down on it makes no sense beyond having some kind of grudge against Gerwig.

    • Chaine says:

      You are so right. A remake with them as an African American family and the war is WW2. That would be amazing.

      • KeWest says:

        +10000

        I was going to post this comment.

        Another white movie with no visible minorities other than playing minor characters.

        A big no to Emma Stone.

    • Sophia's side eye says:

      This was my first thought.

    • blank77 says:

      THIS THIS THIS.

      I saw this casting list and all I could see was white.

      also I’ll never think Greta is a good person after what she did to a pregnant Jennifer Jason Leigh.

      • Bumble says:

        I didn’t know that about the ‘curves’ plagiarism…
        I did know about the JJL/Baumbach situation and haven’t been able to stomach anything with her since then. Frances Ha is a study in narcissism if I’ve ever seen one.

    • magnoliarose says:

      There needs to be something new about it to warrant the money and time for this. I suspect it will bomb. It seems tone deaf in these times.

  6. TeamAwesome says:

    Did anyone watch the latest Masterpiece Theatre adaptation? It was written by the same woman that writes Call the Midwife. Uma Thurmond and Ethan Hawke’s daughter played Jo, and Emily Watson played my favorite Marmee yet. I absolutely loved it, but everyone else I saw completely hated it. The Laurie was adorable, much more along the lines of Timothee C. than Christian Bale.

    • M says:

      I thought it had some good parts – particularly Laurie and Marmee. But they made little to no effort to really transform 2017 actresses into 19th century girls. Their highlighted hairstyles and vocal frys were distracting.

    • lightpurple says:

      I liked it The Laurie was adorable and Amy, who is my favorite character, was done really well and not just an annoying brat as she is often portrayed. Emily Watson and Angela Lansbury were great. But Jo and the others really didn’t work well for me.

      A friend and I went and toured Orchard House the day it first aired in May.

      • betsyh says:

        I have wanted to visit Orchard House since I was a girl.

      • Ninks says:

        I agree, I love Amy and it was the first Little Women adaption that made her a fully rounded character. My only criticism was that they had an adult actor play her, when she was supposed to be only 12, so her actions came across as those of a spoiled teenager instead of an immature child.

      • lightpurple says:

        @betsyh, it is a delightful little place, although small and a bit cramped. Each tour guide puts her own spin on it and they really try to focus on how the girls lived. Most of the artwork in the house is May’s (Amy’s) and she was encouraged to draw on the walls so you really have to look closely in every room.

    • betsyh says:

      I liked Jo because I thought she looked plain, as in the books (unlike Winona Ryder). Also she looked a bit like Louisa May Alcott.

    • Janie says:

      I watched the MT adaptation, and I didn’t really care for it. Aesthetically it was like a Christmas card – a perfect, snowy idyll. Way too picturesque, with jolly music on top of it. And the sisters annoyed me.. They were acting like little, giggly children, always idolizing their mother, which was just strange when the actresses were clearly young women aged 20+. I found no real nerve or complexity.

      I think the tricky part about making period dramas is staying true to the material and the time period, but without turning it into a sickeningly romantic costume-y mess. There has to be some kind of complex and nuanced drama to keep the viewers engaged and invested in the story.

    • MyLittlePony says:

      I loved it. Very well cast I think, but maybe a little bit “hurried”, and would have worked better as a four part series instead of three. It did have some kind of a modern touch, which I think worked really well. Emily Watson was pure gold.

  7. Dinah says:

    I could see Florence Pugh playing Amy. She was really good in Lady Macbeth.

    • Onerous says:

      She is a delight and would be fantastic!

    • Hoping says:

      I agree! Or as Jo. Her performance in Lady MacBeth was mesmerizing. I can see Stone as Meg and Ronan as Beth.
      I think this could be an interesting project if she re-tells the story from a strong point of view, for ex. following the reasons of Jo’s biographical arch, which is not the one you expect from this very fierce and lively and strong girl.

  8. MI6 says:

    Hell YESI
    What a great lineup.

    • heh says:

      The BEST adaptation of a Jane Austen’s novel is “Clueless”.
      I said what I said.

  9. Katherine says:

    Chalamet, yes, others – no. Emma Stone is cute but there’s not a part for her in this. Please cast it close to book ages. Hated the one with Winona Ryder, was all kinds of wrong in regards to the book. The book was so good though

  10. Theodora says:

    I love Little Women. Personally, I liked the 90s version and Christian Bale in that role was one on my first big screen crushes (the other one being Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall). But to each their own and all that.

    I agree that I feel only Chalamet for the movie. Meryl Streep is not only too old to play the mother, but I find her miscast for that role. Marmie is somebody warmer and more intense,in my opinion. IDK, Marisa Tonei? Naomi Watts?

  11. Jamie42 says:

    I suspect Stone would be Jo, Ronan would be Amy (opposite Chalamet–though he is too young for the almost/relationship with Stone). Florence Pugh seems too young to be Meg? Would she be Amy then? It seems they don’t have a Beth yet. But would you hire Stone for the bland role of Meg?
    Or maybe Stone could be Marmee and Streep could be (newly created role of) Grandma?
    This doesn’t make sense.

    • Crimson says:

      Welllll, someone has to be cast as the crotchety old Aunt March, so…

    • Syd Barrett’s bike says:

      The trades say that Saoirse will play Jo. Emma would be Meg.

    • Rescue Cat says:

      They should rename the Best Actress Oscar the Meryl and be done with it. Then she wouldn’t have to be cast in everything and get nominated every year by the Academy.

  12. manda says:

    I loved the 90′s version, and I have the soundtrack to play around christmastime. I will watch this, just as I watched the anime version as a child, and the BBC version earlier this year, and the modern day version out later this year. I will watch it

  13. Jegede says:

    A no from me.

    The Katherine Hepburn 1933 version will always be my favourite.

  14. Lizzie says:

    my mind is blown that you didn’t like the 1994 version. like – “BOOOOOOOOMMMMM” -my brain.

  15. Omrita says:

    I love Little women. Only person I’m excited about here is Chamalet as Laurie…perfect. The rest is just getting a giant ughhh from me. I find Saorsie Ronan a bit overrated to be honest. She seems like a lovely person, but she’s obviously the type that the powers that be really, really want to make happen. Young, thin, white. I’m sick of it. I’m not at all saying she’s terrible, obviously she is not.

  16. Rescue Cat says:

    They need to cast Rooney Mara to make it more edgy.

  17. Lexter says:

    Little women wasnt a big thing where I grew up… I suspect it’s a USA centric thing. I saw the 90s version (never read it) and meh….. not interested. Wouldnt watch a new version unless it had some major allure and jazzed up the story significantly

  18. Bria says:

    I can’t believe they are releasing back to back adaptations..reading the header, I thought the article was about the Little Women film coming out this fall. Lea Thompson will be playing “Marmee”. Here’s a link: https://youtu.be/Ku5Huuw7fUU

  19. Talie says:

    I loved the 90s version with Winona!

    Actresses like Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone definitely only read as contemporary–they don’t work in period. This movie sounds like a bad idea.

  20. lightpurple says:

    Louisa May Alcott wrote other books! Why do they keep ignoring them? She even wrote two sequels to Little Women – Little Men and Jo’s Boys. My favorite Alcott books are Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom,, Rose is the sequel to Cousins. They both feature a strong female lead in Rose, lots of parts for those poor downtrodden white guys, and some good supporting female characters that Rose befriends and, GASP, quite a few good roles for more mature actresses because all those cousins have mothers who get their hand in raising Rose.

    • Aggie says:

      This! Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom are amazing books, and I would pay good money to see adaptations in the theater.

      • minx says:

        Oh I loved those books!
        I read all of Alcott obviously but my favorite girls’ books were the Betsy-Tacy books, which far fewer people have heard of.

      • betsyh says:

        Agree! When Charlie dies…ugh! I cried!

      • paranormalgirl says:

        I loved Mac in “Eight Cousins” and “Rose in Bloom”

    • serena says:

      Oh boy, how I wish someone would make movies out of the sequels too!

  21. Eva says:

    This feels like Gerwig and Emma Stone really wanted to work together (which I understand) so they’re just putting Emma in Gerwig’s next project even if there’s no suitable role for her. Blah!

    But maybe she’s playing the mother/aunt? Didn’t J.Law play someone in her 50s in a movie once because there weren’t enough unemployed older actresses in Hwood?

  22. Bliss 51 says:

    I saw bits and pieces of the Winona Ryder version and maybe a tiny bit of the Katherine Hepburn movie. I’d rather stick with the book, it’s lifelike in my reading than anything in cinema or tv. Chalamet would be ok as the young Laurie but I can’t imagine him as adult Teddy. Would Stone play Jo? She’s too old for the part and Streep is old enough for Aunt March not Marmee. Saorise would play Amy? Too old, maybe Meg? And why is Gerwig doing yet another cinematic chestnut like Little Women? Why isn’t she doing something contemporary?! An American woman of this time and age in a time of global facism and #me too and increasing poverty in this country? Is this the best Hollywood has to offer?

  23. Bliss 51 says:

    There’s someone on Team Amy? She was a brat! And a gold digger to boot. Team Jo and Beth all the way!

    • Anners says:

      Lol! I was all ready to come here and pour out venom re Amy (spoiled brat/no redeeming qualities) when I came across all the #teamamy4eva comments and wondered if I’d fallen into the upside down. Glad to know I’m not alone :)

    • serena says:

      I liked her lol because we can see her growing and maturing, also her love story is nice.

  24. lucy2 says:

    I don’t feel the urge for a new version of this story, but I really like Saoirse and will watch whatever she’s in. Greta did a nice job with Lady Bird too, so I’m looking forward to her future projects.

  25. Tara Beth says:

    Susan Sarandon is #notmymarmie

  26. MAF says:

    Nah. This book has been adapted too many times. On top of that, I find this cast list terrible.

  27. K says:

    Boring. I want modern stories from these actors, not more rehash. I don’t care who’s in it, I probably wouldn’t see it.

  28. Clairej says:

    This won’t be a popular opinion. But I can’t stand Jo. God she annoys me. I did love Christian Bale as Laurie. Maybe because she turns him down. Enjoying current Emily Watson adaptation and don’t mind Jo. But memories have come back after the mention of ‘Rose in Bloom’. Need to reread.

  29. baylor says:

    Am I the only one who has a bad taste in their mouth over Greta Gerwig since her & Noah Baumbach got together on the set of the film he co-wrote with his pregnant wife at the time, Jennifer Jason Leigh? Greenberg, w/Ben Stiller..

    As in, JJL helped write Greta’s breakout role, and while they were shooting, Baumbach and Gerwig had an affair ON SET & off…while JJL presumably would have been there….and they ran off together just before JJL was to give birth. I never liked Baumbach – I think he’s pretentious and his stuff isn’t good. But I expected more from another woman (Gerwig) who claims to support women. She wasn’t in her early 20s and some young naive girl. She was 29 years old.

    Yea, Greta has been cancelled for a while for me. How can you support women when you would do that to another woman, let alone a PREGNANT woman? Thats some broken morals.

    • magnoliarose says:

      She’s not my favorite either.

    • Bumble says:

      Just awful. I’ve always wondered if anyone else knew about the JJL thing. Not sure why the media didn’t pick up on it. It’s gross.

  30. Hmmm says:

    No.

  31. Jenn says:

    Little Women is a little cringey for me in general but as a Christian kid one of the few movies I was allowed to watch — I saw every version. And read the book. I actually thought whoever played Meg in the 90s version did a great job as she made Meg interesting and Played an understated character with Depth. She was my favorite sister in that movie which is saying something because her character in the book is so boring compared to the others.
    I actually really enjoyed Sarandon as Marmee and she’s not a fave actress of mine at all. After seeing Cameron Diaz as the mom in “My Sisters Keeper” I actually think she could pull off Marmee.?? She has a real intensity and presence as a mom and is warm like Marmee…and she’s the right age (as was Sarandon at the time)…. Pretty sure Ryder was in her mid or even late 20s when she played Jo ….she was so unbelievable as Jo.
    I remember thinking Gabriel Byrne was the hotness as her old dude fiancé! I wonder who they want for the role …..

  32. anon says:

    Yes for Chalamet and Ronan. The others NO WAY. They’re too old for these roles, anyway.

  33. Molly says:

    English professor here, from Alcott’s home town. Love Jo March. Loved the 1990s film, though I recognize some shortcomings. Loved June Allyson too. I would so be here for another big screen version. What did people think of the masterpiece version that just came out?

  34. C inders says:

    I am down for this. I absolutely love remakes of classics, it keeps them enduring. Ronan is amazing in everything she touches, she was just mesmerising in the film where she plays an Irish immigrant (I’ve annoyingly forgotten the name.) chalamet is a rising star, he has so much presence and intuition in his acting and I think as long as he continues to make good choices, his career is going to be one to watch in the coming years. As for Meryl I’m happy, she’s one of the greats for a reason. Few can come close to how natural she makes acting look.

  35. Amelie says:

    I love the 90s version because it’s the one I grew up with and I was young when it came out. I haven’t seen any other versions so I can’t compare but the music from the 90s movie–so beautiful, I can hum it to myself that’s how many times I’ve seen it. I really liked Wynona Ryder in that movie. It’s a childhood staple for me!

  36. msd says:

    I think the 90s version is an excellent Little Women adaptation! Not perfect (Samantha Mathis was wrong as grown up Amy) but much better than previous ones in the 30s and 40s. Earlier ones are overly sentimental and saccharine, or too stagey. They exorcise the rough edges of the story and don’t have much depth. You could tell a woman directed the 90s version, too because of the way it fleshed out the motivations of the characters.

  37. serena says:

    I would watch Saoirse Ronan in almost everything (with her features though, I think she’d be a great Amy?), but I wish they didn’t threw Meryl Streep and Emma Stone’s names in there just to inflate the project.
    I like them but it sounds like a really bad miscast.

  38. phatypopo says:

    “And Susan G–damn Sarandon will NEVER be MY Marmie” HAHAH omg, crying. I’m with you.

  39. Pinar Okur says:

    Does anybody know an adaptation for children, which i could watch with my 8 year old daughter? But not the japanese manga version (which is childhood memories for me, i loved it) but i would like to see a movie “with real people” like my sweetie would say :)