Greta Gerwig has reportedly settled on a Lady Bird followup — another funny, heart-squeezing coming-of-age story. Variety reports that the Oscar-nominated writer and director will adapt Louisa May Alcott‘s seminal novel Little Women for Sony and Columbia Pictures.
That’s news all by itself. (Little Women is good! Gerwig is good! This all sounds good.) But that’s not the only piece of news surrounding the project. Variety also notes that Meryl Streep, Emma Stone, Saoirse Ronan, and Timothée Chalamet are in talks to star. The same is true of Lady Macbeth‘s Florence Pugh. No roles are rumored, though it’s safe to assume that neither Streep nor Chalamet will be playing the strong-willed protagonist Jo March.
The project would reunite Gerwig with Ronan, who scored her third Oscar nomination for Lady Bird, in which she played, um, the titular role. Chalamet, who played the hella tight Kyle in Gerwig’s film, was also an Oscar nominee this year for Call Me By Your Name. Stone picked up a Best Actress Oscar for her work in La La Land, while Pugh’s turn in Lady Macbeth earned her a slew of “Most Promising Performer” nominations, among them a BAFTA nod. Streep has also done some acting.
Additional casting decisions have yet to be made, though that appears to be happening quickly. Sources tell Variety that Sony hopes to test several actors for the role of Beth before Independence Day. That urgency has run through the production as a whole. Again, per Variety: “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.”
Little Women, a novel that’s been adapted many times for film, television, and the stage, centers on the four March sisters, who soldier through the Civil War and its aftermath despite personal, financial, and romantic difficulties. Famous adaptations include the Winona Ryder-starring 1994 film version, and a 1933 adaptation starring Katharine Hepburn. The BBC and PBS collaborated on an excellent miniseries adaptation, which aired in the United States last month and featured notable performances from Maya Hawke, Angela Lansbury, and Emily Watson. A contemporary retelling, from writer-director Clare Niederpruem, is due this fall.
Gerwig knocked our socks off with Lady Bird, her solo directorial debut, last year. We named it the fifth best film of the year, while our Readers Poll showed love to the film, as well as to Gerwig and Ronan individually, naming the latter’s performance the best of 2017.