‘Little Women’ Movie: Who Does Meryl Streep Play?

The first trailer for the new film Little Women is here. In it, we remeet all of the familiar characters, one of whom is played by Meryl Streep. Here’s what you need to know about her role in new adaptation.

What is Little Women about?

The upcoming film is based on the popular novel by Louisa May Alcott. It’s about a family, the Marchs, who lived in Massachusetts during and following the Civil War. The story focuses on the four teenage sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, all of whom are very different.

The book has been adapted many times in the 150 years since its initial publication. Among the most popular adaptations are the 1994 film starring Winona Ryder and the 2017 BBC/PBS television production in which Ryder’s Stranger Things co-star, Maya Hawke, took on the same role.

Meryl Streep portrays Aunt March

Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep | Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty Images

Streep’s role is a smaller, yet notable part. The Academy Award-winning actress will play Aunt March, the wealthy great aunt of the girls who is a meaningful part of their lives. Jo works for Aunt March, who she is named for, in the earlier years of the film, though the elder woman disapproves of her tomboyish manner.

Later, the youngest daughter Amy becomes close with Aunt March. She lives and travels with her. Amy fits into Aunt March’s mold for what a young woman should be like. Despite appearing cold and unloving, Aunt March’s generosity is an important part of the novel’s final act.

Who will play the rest of the March family?

Though Streep may be the biggest name amongst the cast, she’s certainly in good company. Her Big Little Lies co-star Laura Dern portrays Marmee March, the mother of the girls at the center of the story. Meanwhile, Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul) portrays their father.

As for the young women themselves, here they are, in age order: Emma Watson (the Harry Potter franchise) is the traditional Meg, Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) is the writer Jo, Eliza Scanlen (Sharp Objects) is the shy Beth, and Florence Pugh (Midsommar) is the artist Amy.

The first Little Women trailer is now out

An official trailer for Little Women debuted on Aug. 13, 2019. In it, the focus is, as it usually is, on Jo. Jo has written a novel about her and her sisters, and she’s seeking to have it published. But she’s told there needs to be a romance.

The trailer also shows a little of Jo’s relationship with Aunt March. Jo says, “I intend to make my own way in the world,” to which Streep’s character replies, “No one makes their own way. Least of all a woman. You’ll need to marry well.” When Jo points out that she herself isn’t married, Aunt March fires back, “Well, that’s because I’m rich.”

Here’s when Little Women is due out

The excitement around Lady Bird writer and director Greta Gerwig’s adaptation has been palpable since 2016, when she was first announced to be attached. Her success with her debut led to her earning the directing spot with Little Women.

Filming took place throughout 2018. The movie will premiere in U.S. theaters on Christmas Day 2019.

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