A-listers still flock to Little Women! Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, Emma Watson and Meryl Streep will become the latest actors to portray the iconic characters in the 2019 adaptation from Greta Gerwig.
The new cast is certainly not the first group of stars to embody the March sisters from Louisa May Alcott’s 1800s-era novel. The book has been adapted for the big screen alone eight times, with productions released in 1917, 1918, 1933, 1949, 1978, 1994, 2017 and 2019. The story also found its way to television in 1950, 1958, 1970 and 2017.
Director Gillian Armstrong’s 1994 version remains a well-loved iteration. The film starred many famous faces that continue to land major roles in Hollywood today. Winona Ryder (Jo March), Trini Alvarado (Meg March), Claire Danes (Beth March), Kirsten Dunst (young Amy March), Samantha Mathis (older Amy March), Christian Bale (Laurie), Susan Sarandon (Mrs. March) and Mary Wickes (Aunt March) made up the cast.
The movie, which followed the lives of the March sisters as they grew up in post-Civil War America, raked in three Academy Award nominations, including a Best Actress in a Leading Role nod for Ryder.
Fans of the source material rejoiced when Gerwig signed on to write and direct a 2019 adaptation starring Ronan (Jo), Chalamet (Laurie), Watson (Meg), Streep (Aunt March), Laura Dern (Marmee), Eliza Scanlen (Beth) and Florence Pugh (Amy).
The Atonement star already landed a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for her portrayal of the leading lady determined to buck social norms.
“[Little Women] was very much part of who I always was,” Gerwig told Entertainment Weekly in a November 2019 cover story. “It was something my mother read to me when I was growing up. It’s been with me for a very long time.”
Her passion for the project made her an ideal candidate for the role of director. “Greta had a very specific, energized, kind of punk-rock, Shakespearean take on this story,” producer Amy Pascal explained. “She came in and had a meeting with all of us and said, ‘I know this has been done before, but nobody can do it but me.’”
Gerwig added: “I wanted to treat the text as something that could be made fresh by great acting.”
Scroll to see how the 2019 and 1994 casts of Little Women compare.