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The CW is always looking for outside-the-box premises for shows and this time the network has definitely hit the nail on the head in terms of weirdness. On Wednesday, we learned the CW wants to produce a “gritty” version of the famous Louisa May Alcott novel Little Women. If you’re familiar at all with the source material, it’s not remotely gritty, but the new version would place Jo, Beth, Meg and Amy into the “dystopic streets” of Philly. Twisted? For sure.
We don’t have a ton of details about the new version. We do know that the dark new TV adaption will be written by Alexis Jolly and executive produced by Jolly and Michael Weatherly (the latter also works on NCIS). Deadline’s report mentions the gritty, dystopic stuff and calls it an adaptation of the original 1868 novel, only with sisters who are trying not to kill each other. Regardless, the outlet doesn’t clarify whether this will be a modern-day adaptation or a piece of twisted history, like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (or probably a seriously reworked novel, like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies would be the more adept comparison). The CW may not have the biggest budgets, but the network is pretty good at coming up with trendy and unique show ideas that often appeal to the masses.
Classic novels are always great fodder for TV and film fare, and it comes as no surprise that a network might take a novel like Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and turn it into a compelling TV series. What is a bit surprising is that the news is coming just one season after another Little Women TV project didn’t end up making it to the air. A while back we reported that Californication actress Natascha McElhone would be producing the potential ABC project, which would have been a modern take on the story following a military family with four sisters who end up losing their fortune and privilege. Yeah, that sucks, but this new CW version sounds far more interesting.
Plus, I’d certainly argue that we don’t need any more traditional Little Women adaptations. There are two classic films from the thirties and forties starring Katharine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor, but the one most of us are probably tied to is the 1994 version starring Susan Sarandon, Kirsten Dunst, Winona Ryder, Claire Danes and Christian Bale. A film written by Sarah Polley is also reportedly in the works.
The CW doesn’t have as many new shows hitting the schedule each season as the other networks, but with a little luck, we could be seeing Little Women on the schedule at some point. Just don’t forget to bring a hankie. We all know what will inevitably happens to the sisters.