Principal photography begins in Ireland this month on Playground Entertainment’s adaptation of Little Women for BBC One and Masterpiece on PBS. As Deadline reported last month, Angela Lansbury is playing Aunt March in the three-part miniseries. Playground has now rounded out the cast with Emily Watson as Marmee, the matriarch of Louisa May Alcott’s March family, and Michael Gambon as benevolent neighbor Mr Laurence.
The March sisters will be played by an ensemble of four young actresses: newcomer Maya Hawke as willful and adventurous Jo; Willa Fitzgerald (Scream: The TV Series) as eldest daughter Meg; Annes Elwy (Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams) as Beth; and Kathryn Newton (Big Little Lies) as youngest sister Amy. Also joining the cast is Jonah Hauer-King (Howards End) as Laurie Laurence, the charming boy next door.
The project, from Colin Callender’s Playground, is written by Heidi Thomas, creator of Call The Midwife. The coming-of-age story is set against the backdrop of the Civil War, and follows the four sisters on their journey from childhood to adulthood. With the help of their mother Marmee, while their father is away at war, the girls navigate what it means to be a young woman: from gender roles to sibling rivalry, first love, loss and marriage.
Little Women is a BBC/Masterpiece for PBS co-production produced by Playground. Exec producers are Callender and Sophie Gardiner for Playground; Thomas and Lucy Richer for the BBC; and Rebecca Eaton for Masterpiece.