“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” Sure, Little Women was written by Louisa May Alcott, but casting news about the latest film adaptation of the classic novel brings to mind this line from another literary great, Charles Dickens. Why? Oscar winner Emma Stone dropped out of the reboot (the worst). Director Greta Gerwig has reportedly already lined up another Emma to replace Stone, however. Hint: This former Harry Potter heroine is the best.
According to Variety, Stone ultimately had to walk away from the project because of promotional obligations for her film The Favourite. Sony, the studio behind Gerwig’s Little Women, needed to act fast to keep its expected production schedule. In an obvious stroke of brilliance, Sony reached out to Emma Watson, who already has a bit of reboot experience under her belt thanks to 2017’s Beauty and the Beast.
Sources also say that Watson will indeed be taking the role Stone was set to play, which IMDb currently lists as Meg March.
The two Emmas in play here have switched places once before. In 2016, Watson was originally tapped to star opposite Miles Teller in the critical darling La La Land. However, Watson’s Beauty and the Beast schedule led her to turn down the lead role (Teller claimed the director cited creative differences when dropping him). Stone stepped in — as did Ryan Gosling — and she went on to win an Academy Award for the part.
The rest of the Little Women cast credited so far: Meryl Streep (Aunt March), Saoirse Ronan (Jo March), Eliza Scanlen (Beth March), Florence Pugh (Amy March) and Timothée Chalamet (Laurie Laurence).
Laura Dern is also rumored to have joined the cast, along with James Norton, both of whom have yet to be linked to any particular characters. In fact, Variety reported that all of the roles are in the process of being “worked out.” Still, with such a high-profile roster, this highly anticipated adaptation is basically guaranteed to be a hit, regardless of how the parts shake out.
This feels particularly true when you consider that Gerwig is writing and directing. The actor firmly established herself as a writer-director to be reckoned with in 2017, when she received three Oscar nominations and won a Golden Globe for her film Lady Bird.
Gerwig’s Little Women adaptation is scheduled for release in December 2019.