While many novels now considered classics weren’t popular immediately upon their release, that definitely wasn’t the case with Little Women.
Pretty much as soon as Louisa May Alcott published her book, critics and readers alike were dazzled. Fans of the book even wrote to the author demanding to know more about what happened to the March sisters and the book’s other characters!
As expected based on that initial success, there have been numerous adaptations of Little Women in the 150-plus years since it debuted. There have been stage plays, TV musicals, and even an opera based on the beloved coming-of-age novel.
But perhaps the film adaptations of the book have been the best known.
There were two silent versions of the movie and an additional five adaptations between 1933 and 2018. But now yet another version of the classic is coming to theaters later this year, this time written and directed by Greta Gerwig.
Sony recently unveiled the first-look photos at the highly anticipated film, and we couldn’t be more excited!
Little Women was originally published in two parts. The separate volumes were released in 1868 and 1869.
Scholars consider the book, written by Louisa May Alcott, to be autobiographical or semi-autobiographical. It was loosely based on the writer’s experiences and life with her three sisters.
In the many years since it was first published, the story has remained a beloved classic. Its themes and characters resonated with millions — so unsurprisingly, it’s one of the most oft-adapted books ever.
Two silent versions — one British and one American — were released in 1917 and 1918, respectively. But for many, the 1933 version (starring Katharine Hepburn as Jo March) is the definitive version.
Others prefer the 1949 version, directed by Mervyn LeRoy. It had the same exact script and music as the 1933 adaptation but starred several other popular actresses as the March sisters, including Janet Leigh as Meg and Elizabeth Taylor as Amy.
The 1994 version of the story is considered the iconic adaptation for some younger audiences. It starred Winona Ryder as Jo, Kirsten Dunst as a young Amy, Christian Bale as Laurie, and Susan Sarandon as Marmee.
A new adaptation of Little Women by Sony Pictures was announced back in 2013. At the time, the last version of the film was the 1994 one, having been made nearly 20 years earlier.
In 2016, filmmaker Greta Gerwig was hired to rewrite the screenplay. Two years later, fresh off the massive critical and commercial success of her solo directorial debut Lady Bird, she was also hired as the new adaptation’s director.
Fans of the book were extremely excited about the new version — particularly when the casting news began to be announced. Meryl Streep (as Aunt March), Emma Stone (as Meg), Saoirse Ronan (as Jo), Timothée Chalamet (as Laurie), and Florence Pugh (as Amy) were cast, with Emma Watson later replacing Emma Stone when she needed to drop out.
Earlier this week, Sony finally released a first look at the upcoming film. Several photos show the cast in character, including a particularly swoon-worthy shot of Saoirse and Timothée (as Jo and Laurie) intently staring at one another.
Needless to say, fans are more hyped than ever to see the upcoming movie. Now we’ll just have to wait for the first trailer to be released!
The new adaptation of Little Women is set to hit theaters on December 25, 2019 — just in time for Christmas!