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It's been more than 20 years since Hollywood last took a whack at a big screen adaptation of author Louisa May Alcott's classic novel Little Women, but the time has come around again. A new version of the story is now in the works at Sony Pictures, and new reports have revealed that Sarah Polley has been assigned to write the new film.
This news comes to us from The Wrap, which adds that former Sony executive Amy Pascal is on board the project to produce. At this time, Polley is only attached to write the Little Women script and not necessarily direct, and an insider has said she won't even consider the helm of the project until after she has finished writing her screenplay.
First published back in the late 1860s, Louisa May Alcott's Little Women tells the story of four young girls - Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy - who grow up with their mother while their father is away fighting in the Civil War. The period plot follows them from childhood to adulthood, and considered one of the great coming of age tales of all time. It was notably last brought to the big screen in 1994, when director Gillian Armstrong made an adaptation starring the likes of Winona Ryder, Gabriel Byrne, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes, Christian Bale, Eric Stoltz, John Neville and Susan Sarandon. Obviously that's a pretty crazy cast for this new version to compete with, but previous Hollywood adaptations have starred Katharine Hepburn (in the George Cukor-directed 1933 version) and Elizabeth Taylor (in the Mervyn LeRoy-directed 1949 version).
As pointed out in The Wrap's piece, it's interesting to note that this project continues a wave of female-led projects starting to be developed over at Sony Pictures. After all, this is the same studio that will soon be bringing us Paul Feig's all-women Ghostbusters reboot, and a Chloe Moretz-starring sci-fi film titled The 5th Wave. Little Women alone has three female producers attached - with Denise Di Novi and Robin Swicord working with Amy Pascal - a female screenwriter, and source material written by a woman.
While Sarah Polley has never directed anything really like Little Women before, it honestly would be fascinating to see her take on the material. Over the last decade she has proven herself to be one of the most talented female filmmakers working in the industry, as films like Away With Her, Take This Waltz and the documentary Stories We Tell were released to rave reviews in 2007, 2012, and 2013, respectively. She doesn't seem to currently have a project set up as her next movie to direct, so hopefully she'll feel positive coming off of the experience adapting Little Women and will get Sony to take a chance on her also helming it.