Meryl Streep's Little Women Role Is More Devil Wears Prada Than We Expected

Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.
Few things have ever made one specific subset of the internet happier than when Greta Gerwig announced that she would be directing an adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.
And, indeed, the names attached to the film — Meryl Streep, Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, Emma Stone, and Florence Pugh — seemed to be straight out of an ex-librarian’s secret Tumblr fan-cast fever dream.
But some recent news of the film’s development has deviated — if only slightly — from the original cast speculation. According to The Los Angeles Times, Streep has signed on to the movie to play Aunt March and not Marmee, as some had thought.
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For those of you who took a Sparknotes-only approach to high school English classes, Aunt March may not exactly be freshest Little Women character in your mind. And that is probably due, in large part, to the fact that Aunt March isn’t exactly a fully developed character in the book — her main involvement in the book is being wealthy, crotchety, picking favourites among the March sisters, and, ultimately, dying, so Jo can inherit her home and get married. Because of this, Aunt March is usually glossed over in film and TV adaptations of Little Women.
But there is evidence — if only in the form of Streep deciding that the role is worthy of her time — that Gerwig’s approach to Little Women may be offering the character some more action.
And Robin Swicord, who wrote the 1994 film version of Little Women and is a producer on the upcoming film, told the Los Angeles Times that Gerwig’s adaptation will focus mainly on the sisters’ adult lives, which may give Aunt March some more to do.
“It’s very adult and interesting and thoughtful…and, of course, given the material, it’s always going to be romantic,” Swicord told The Los Angeles Times. “Greta has a wonderfully associative, well-furnished mind. Her take on the novel more than convinced us that we could bring something new to the screen.”
I, for one, am now spending a lot of time picturing Streep as a Civil War-era Miranda Priestly in this role — probably dressed in some sort of variation of her Series of Unfortunate Events costume — but, for now, I’ll do my best to not get too ahead of myself.
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