Jo March would be so pleased. A new adaptation of Louisa May Alcott
’s coming-of-age classic “Little Women
” is in the works and a woman director is at the helm. According to Deadline, “Switched at Birth
” actress Lea Thompson
has signed on to play matriarch Marmee in Clare Niederpruem
’s directorial debut. No word yet on who will portray protagonist Jo or her sisters Meg, Beth, and Amy.
First published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869, “Little Women
” follows the Civil War-era lives of the March family. The story is told mainly from the perspective of Jo, the second-eldest daughter, who chafes at the constraints she faces as a girl but pursues her passion of writing anyway. The novel begins as the four sisters and Marmee prepare for Christmas without Mr. March, who is away fighting for the Union.
Niederpruem is adapting “Little Women
” with her writing partner, Kristi Shimek
. Marybeth Sprows
and Chris Donahue
of Paulist Productions
are producing with Main Dog Productions
’ Maclain Nelson
and Stephen Shimek
. Besides Thompson, Lucas Grabeel
(also of “Switched at Birth
”) is the only other actor attached to the project. He is set to play Laurie, the March family’s neighbor and Jo’s best friend.
Principal photography for the film will begin in June with a theatrical release planned for 2018, the novel’s 150th anniversary.
” has been adapted for the big screen several times, most recently in 1994. Gillian Armstrong
directed the Winona Ryder
-starrer from a script by Robin Swicord
. Armstrong’s adaptation also featured Susan Sarandon
, Kirsten Dunst
, Claire Danes
, and Christian Bale
. Katharine Hepburn
and June Allyson
portrayed Jo in the 1933 and 1949 film versions, respectively.
Previously, we reported plans of another “Little Women
” iteration in development, penned by Greta Gerwig
and produced by Amy Pascal
, Denise Di Novi
, and Swicord. It is unclear whether that film is still in development. Currently, there is no mention of it on Pascal or Gerwig’s IMDb page.
New “Little Women
” Film in the Works from Clare Niederpruem
was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.