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'Little Women': six takeaways from the just-released trailer

Jo March looks set to be even feistier in Greta Gerwig's adaptation of the 1868 novel

The 1994 film broke the hearts of many with its poignant scenes, and now the story of Little Women is set to introduce the March sisters to a new generation.

A new adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's 1868 novel will hit cinemas later this year, helmed by Ladybird director Greta Gerwig.

On Tuesday night, the first trailer for the latest iteration of the mid-19th-century tale landed, giving fans a look at the A-list cast – including Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Meryl Streep and Timothee Chalamet –in action.

Below, we take a look at what the teaser uncovered.

It looks to be staying fairly close to the plot

Yes, second sister Jo is still an aspiring writer, youngest sibling Amy is a talented painter, and eldest daughter Meg has a wedding in the garden. Many key elements of Alcott's book, and the '90s adaption starring Winona Ryder, are still there, such as Jo accidentally tonging off a section of Meg's hair as she gets ready for a grand ball. Fans should be kept happy with the apparently faithful retelling of the story, which follows the loves, losses and tribulations of four sisters growing up during and after the American Civil War.

But there might be a few more laughs

While Gerwig's interpretation is still set in the same time period, the script seems to be a little more dynamic, and a touch more relevant in a post-#MeToo era. One punchy exchange in the trailer occurs between Jo, played by Ronan, and Aunt March, portrayed by the inimitable Streep, when the spinster aunt tells the willful writer she'll "have to marry well". "But you're not married," Jo retorts, to which Streep fires back: "Well, that's because I'm rich."

Ronan's Jo will be just as feisty, if not a touch more, than Ryder's

The fiercely driven and independent Jo has been a pin-up for young girls around the world ever since Alcott's novel was published. The headstrong writer, who chops off her hair so her mother (played by Laura Dern in the 2019 remake) can visit their war-injured father, was played to perfection by Ryder in the 1994 film – and Ronan's version doesn't look set to disappoint, either. The Irish actress appears to be even more impassioned, if possible in Gerwig's film, from slapping away a chivalrous arm proffered by wealthy neighbour Teddy (Chalamet) to tearfully proclaiming: "I'm so sick of people saying love is all a woman is fit for." Alcott famously refused to marry off Jo to a predictable, moneyed man in her books, despite widespread disappointment from readers.

Emma Watson's accent has drawn a little criticism

The British Harry Potter star has had to adopt an American twang for Little Women, but her interpretation was one of the most-discussed topics on social media after the trailer landed. "Why has Emma Watson still got a British accent," one amateur critic questioned, while others have shared fears her voice will "ruin" the film. Watson's accent doesn't sound all that bad in the trailer but, admittedly, she has a very small amount of lines.

It'll be a spectacle for the eyes

The hair, the costumes, the sets ... Gerwig's adaptation is quite a thing to behold. Probably a touch more colourful than the 1994 film, the period costumes and glorious curls of the latest Little Women might just be the best yet.

Where's Friedrich Bhaer?

The German professor who romances Jo, played by Gabriel Byrne in the 1994 film, doesn't appear to feature in the 2019 trailer. The role has been cast, to be portrayed by Louis Garrel, so we know he'll make an appearance when Jo moves to New York to pursue her dreams, but we'll have to wait a little longer to see the French star in action.

Little Women will be released worldwide this Christmas.

Updated: August 14, 2019 11:19 AM

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