In the first line of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, a character grumbles that “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents.” It seems fitting, then, that a film adaptation of the classic 1868 novel is the most anticipated major studio release scheduled for December 25, 2019.
A new trailer for Oscar-nominated Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig’s film was released on August 13. It stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen as sisters Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth March; Laura Dern as their mother, “Marmee”; Timothée Chalamet as handsome neighbor Theodore “Laurie” Laurence; and Meryl Streep as the girls’ wealthy great-aunt.
The film follows the poor March siblings’ lives in 1860s Massachusetts. It’s the eighth movie version of Little Women since 1917, and second in two years; last year saw the release of a poorly received, Lea Thompson-starring film, set in the modern day.
The new movie’s main cast members have famously appeared in other book adaptations. Dern and Streep, for example, most recently co-starred in the second season of the HBO series Big Little Lies, based on the 2014 Liane Moriarty bestseller.
Ronan recently starred in Mary Queen of Scots, an adaptation of a 2004 John Guy biography, and her Lady Bird co-star Chalamet’s role in 2017’s Call Me by Your Name, based on the 2007 André Aciman novel, garnered him an Oscar nomination.
Watson, of course, appeared in a few book adaptations in her early career. Scanlen memorably costarred as a murderous teen in last year’s HBO miniseries Sharp Objects, from the 2006 Gillian Flynn novel, and Pugh headlined the 2018 AMC miniseries The Little Drummer Girl, from the 1982 John le Carré spy thriller.
David Rapp is the senior Indie editor.