PBS' Little Women Adaptation Gets Big Names and Fresh Faces

Angela Lansbury, among others, is set to star in the 2018 adaptation from PBS Masterpiece.


PBS Masterpiece has finally announced the full cast of its upcoming three-part adaptation of Little Women. Set to begin filming in Ireland this month, Louisa May Alcott’s beloved coming-of-age classic is being brought to the small screen by the award-winning creator—and the person behind our Sister Bernadette-induced tears—of Call the Midwife.

Set against the backdrop of the Civil War, Little Women follows the four March sisters' lives as they create their own identities, experience first loves, and suffer from devastating loss. Though published in the late 1800s, the story's portrayal of family love and women's roles has stood the test of time. Who hasn't referred to themselves as a Jo, Meg, Beth, or Amy at some point in their lives? 

While Little Women has been adapted before (see also: the Japanese anime series from the 80s—no, we're not kidding), we're excited by the mix of fresh and familiar faces this latest interpretation promises.

[SPOILER] And maybe, just this once, Beth won’t die? Please?

Related: 13 Books Like Little Women 

Check out the cast below, and then read Little Women before the new series premieres!

Little Women Angela Lansbury
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  • Photo Credit: Angela Lansbury/Still from "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" (1975), via Walt Disney Productions
Dame Angela Lansbury is the crotchety, but tender-hearted, Aunt March.

The iconic film, television, and stage actress hardly needs an introduction, but in case you need a refresher—she played Jessica Fletcher in the Agatha Christie-based Murder, She Wrote and cast spells on a magical bed in Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

Emily Watson Little Women
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  • Photo Credit: Emily Watson/Still from "Within the Whirlwind" (2009), via Tatfilm
Emily Watson is Marmie, the March matriarch and fictional mother you mentally adopted as a kid.

Ms. Watson turned heads with her stunning performance in Lars Von Trier’s 1996 award-winner, Breaking the Waves. She recently starred in The Theory of Everything and Genius.

Maya Hawke Little Women
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  • Photo Credit: Maya Hawke/Courtesy of All Saints
Maya Hawke is the spirited and tom boy protagonist, Jo March.

Playing the fictionalized version of Louisa May Alcott is a daunting first gig—but with Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke as parents, we think she’ll do just fine.

Related: 5 Little Women Quotes We Still Love Today 

Willa Fitzgerald Little Women
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  • Photo Credit: Willa Fitzgerald in "Scream: The TV Series" (2015), via MTV
Willa Fitzgerald is the responsible, eldest March sister, Meg.

Willa Fitzgerald is fresh from her role in MTV’s adaptation of the classic teen horror film, Scream

Annes Elwy Little Women
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  • Photo Credit: Annes Elwy/Still from "The Passing" (2015), via Seven Screen
Annes Elwy is the quiet and lovable Beth (*sniffles*).

Annes will also be starring in Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica, Outlander) and Bryan Cranston's (Breaking Bad) upcoming anthology series Electric Dreams, which is based on the works of sci-fi legend Philip K. Dick.

Little Women Kathryn Newton
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  • Photo Credit: Kathryn Newton/Still from "Big Little Lies" (2017), via HBO
Kathryn Newton is the youngest and artistically-gifted March sister, Amy.

If you watched HBO’s recent hit, Big Little Lies, you’ll remember Kathryn as Reese Witherspoon’s rebellious teenage daughter. 

Michael Gambon Little Women
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  • Photo Credit: Michael Gambon/Still from "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (2007), via Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Michael Gambon is Mr. Laurence, the March family’s elderly next-door neighbor. 

Gambon comes from an illustrious theater background, though you may know him best as Albus Dumbledore from the Harry Potter film franchise. 

Jonah Hauer-King Little Women
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  • Photo Credit: Jonah Hauer-King/Still from "Ashes in the Snow" (2017), via Sorrento Productions
Jonah Hauer-King as Mr. Laurence’s charming grandson—and Jo’s scorned love interest—Laurie.

This young actor has made a name for himself on the Broadway stage, though he has several exciting movie projects on the horizon—including the World War II drama, Ashes in the Snow, and a Mary Shelley biopic with Elle Fanning.

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Featured photo: Cover of Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott