The lovely 1994 adaptation of Little Women featured Gen-X angst icons Claire Danes and Winona Ryder, playing beloved sisters no less. With a pre-angry Christian Bale as Laurie, a smoldering Gabriel Byrne as Professor Bhaer, and Susan Sarandon as the feisty feminist Marmee, the film could not be a better period drama — for the ’90s.
So with the news that Sarah Polley is writing an updated version of Louisa May Alcott’s canonical coming-of-age tale about four Massachusetts sisters during the Civil War, we thought we’d offer some appropriate casting suggestions for our Internet and YA franchise-saturated era — with our tongues partly in our cheeks.
NB: our casting is color-blind, just like millennials are reported to be (that’s a joke, guys!). Without further adieu, the millennial Little Women dream cast:
Anna Kendrick as Meg March
Perky and bland, Kendrick’s Meg would definitely sing while she dutifully swept and did chores. Runners-up: Kristen Stewart, who does look very WASPy. Selena Gomez, who owned her role as the most virtuous of a female foursome in Spring Breakers.
Emma Watson as Jo March
The on-the-nose thinking gal’s choice, of course. Part tomboy, part intellectual, part feminist, she fits the part. Runners-up: Mia Wasikowska as a slightly fiercer, angrier Jo and Tessa Thompson, as Jo the emotional lefty activist.
Felicity Jones as Beth March
She did wide-eyed innocent so well in Northanger Abbey, but showed a flinty fierceness in The Theory of Everything. A perfect Beth. I’m sure she’d cough well too. Runners-up: Elle Fanning as an all-American Beth, and Cristin Miloti who got sick and died so nicely as “The Mother” on How I Met Your Mother.
Chloe Grace Moretz as Young Amy March
Just look at the way that girl pouts and tell me she’s not capable of burning her sister’s manuscript in a cold fury. Runners-up: Imogen Poots as a more delicate Amy; Willow Smith who would nail the scene where she and her teacher face off over the matter of eating pickled limes in class.
Taylor Swift as Grown-up Amy March
There’s no one better suited to steal your best friend and eternally faithful crush, Laurie, and make it about her than T-Swift. Runners-up: Hayden Panetierre as a more devious Amy, Gina Rodriguez as a less devious Amy.
Connie Britton as Marmee March
And there’s no one better than Tami Taylor to raise her daughters in the Texas, er, that is, transcendentalist abolitionist New England spirit. Unfortunately she’d probably have to join Jo in selling her incredible hair to raise money for the Union cause. Runners-up who would also be amazing mother hens to their dear little women: Winona Ryder, coming full circle, and, naturally, Kerry Washington.
Kyle Chandler as Father March
His pep talks and letters home from the Front would be the most motivational words our little women ever read. And you could see him hanging out with Emerson and Thoreau, right? Runners-up: Ben Affleck as a super New Englandy father, and Jon Stewart if you’re looking for a Jewier Dad. We hear he’s looking for work.
Michael B. Jordan as Laurie Lawrence
His mix of confident charm and real earnestness make him the perfect foil for Emma Watson as Jo, and we know Kyle and Connie would treat him as their own son. Runners-up: Nicholas Hoult — or Eddie Redmayne if you want to be obvious.
Christoph Waltz as Professor Bhaer
He’s cranky, he’s German, he’s a little sadistic. We can’t think of a better Professor Bhaer to scold Jo and thereby sweep her off her feet. Runner-up, if you’re going the heartthrob route: Michael Fassbender. Or POTUS himself, the one and only Barack Obama. He has been called professorial quite frequently, and he’s going to be looking for a gig in two years. I think he’d be pretty spot-on.