Will the endgame pairing be Jo/Laurie, Jo/writing, or Jo/Cyborg Bhaer?
July 29, 2015 9:47 PM   Subscribe

CW Developing ‘Hyper-Stylized’ Reboot of ‘Little Women’ "Disparate half-sisters Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy band together in order to survive the dystopic streets of Philadelphia and unravel a conspiracy that stretches far beyond anything they have ever imagined – all while trying not to kill each other in the process."

This isn't the first time changes have been made to Alcott's novel: in Les Quatre filles du docteur Marsch, Beth gets better and Jo marries Laurie (fr).

Semi-related: Was Jo March really a lesbian?
posted by betweenthebars (77 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Zack Snyder is directing....
posted by HuronBob at 9:54 PM on July 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is fake, even if it's real
posted by clockzero at 10:06 PM on July 29, 2015 [11 favorites]


Do they solve crimes? Please tell me they solve crimes.
posted by mmoncur at 10:21 PM on July 29, 2015 [11 favorites]


Look they control an army of nanobots, thus the name, little women, it's also why their outfits are so tight and revealing, because the nanobots made them. (They didn't make the nanobots, heavens no, it was a wise older man they have to liberate from this gritty yet surprisingly teenage fantasy fulfilling wasteland )
posted by The Whelk at 10:34 PM on July 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


okay I know I should probably be horrified and stuff like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies usually gets a resounding "meh" from me but I am kind of delighted by this idea.

idk maybe it's just that if slapping "Little Women" on as a title is what it takes to make scifi centered on relationships between women, that is probably an acceptable tradeoff?
posted by kagredon at 10:53 PM on July 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


(it doesn't hurt either that the CW has unexpectedly carved out a niche doing surprisingly enjoyable speculative fiction in the last few years)
posted by kagredon at 10:56 PM on July 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Semi-related: Was Jo March really a lesbian?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge%27s_law_of_headlines
posted by Beholder at 11:06 PM on July 29, 2015


The problem with Little Women isn't that not enough happens, it's that it's too harrowing.

My partner's tried to read it aloud to me twice now, and the first time I bailed after the first chapter because I can tell when a character is 'too good for this world' and I didn't think I could take it, and the second time, even though I thought I'd prepared myself, when Scarlet Fever came calling, that was too much for me.
posted by jamjam at 11:06 PM on July 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Huh.

I'm now imagining them giving Beth antibiotic resistant TB or something.

Torn.
posted by frumiousb at 12:44 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Meh, Orphan Black did it first and did it better.
posted by Doleful Creature at 1:09 AM on July 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


I am a passionate fan of Louisa May Alcott, and I've gotta say, against my better judgement, I'm kind of intrigued.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 3:00 AM on July 30, 2015


If adaptations and reboots are going to be the future, then I might as well accept that the reboots are going to get ever-rebootier. Sometimes, this kinda stuff is too X-TREME, but on the other hand, aggressively zany adaptations can be perfectly legitimate. See, Andrzej Zulawski's L'Amour Braque, which is Dostoevsky's The Idiot turned into a manic, neon-lit crime flick with a pulsing 80s score and an ever-roaming Steadicam. See also, Strange Brew, which is Hamlet by way of the Mackenzie Brothers.

That said, I am sick and fucking tired of both standard-issue YA dystopias and LOST-style, clue-ridden konspiracija-mysteries, but whaddyagonnado.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:12 AM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


a conspiracy that stretches far beyond anything they have ever imagined

please turn into "duck amuck" please turn into "duck amuck"
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:13 AM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Always good to see a much-loved but tired brand like 'Little Women' re-energised and skilfully enhanced by top media professionals to broaden the product offer with a fresh take that meets the more demanding needs of the twenty-first century consumer.

In other words, let's write some shit and get unearned attention by pasting famous names on it.
posted by Segundus at 3:40 AM on July 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm now imagining them giving Beth antibiotic resistant TB or something.

It's the CW - it'll probably be lycanthropy.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:43 AM on July 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


Why am I suddenly reminded of the "Scott of the Antarctic" Monty Python sketch?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:52 AM on July 30, 2015


It's the CW - it'll probably be lycanthropy.

Little Women and Werewolves has already been done.
posted by Shmuel510 at 3:52 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Normally I'd say, "The description of this CW show sounds utterly ridiculous, I'll never watch it." But given how awesome Jane the Virgin turned out, I'm not as confident in this strategy any more.
posted by Johnny Assay at 4:30 AM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


As a proud resident of Philadelphia who's thrilled by any screen-time depiction of my beloved and underrated city, ah for fuck's sake.
posted by Tomorrowful at 4:46 AM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Spoilers, people!

Just kidding, but in all seriousness I started reading Little Women for the first time a few weeks ago, and I totally should have seen the tragic disease coming for Beth.
posted by idiopath at 5:04 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


If adaptations and reboots are going to be the future, then I might as well accept that the reboots are going to get ever-rebootier. Sometimes

I am going to pitch my idea for Oliver Twist redone with the urchins as sexy Mathematics Grad Students and Bill Sykes as the Chair of the Physics Department. In a gritty cloud city on Venus.

Pipi Longstocking will the be the story of a sexy CSA farmer in a gritty future Brooklyn after New TYork has flooded due to global warming. Mr. Nilsson will be a pouty-lipped aquaculturalist who is grittily shirtless much of the time, and Tommy and Annika will be twin investment bankers with absurdly high cheekbones.

Moby Dick will be set on a gritty seastead where everyone is an orphan vampire.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:07 AM on July 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm just tired of all this fucking grit frankly, getting it out of my aesthetic machinery is a bitch
posted by clockzero at 5:14 AM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, there's already a grimdark Pippi...
posted by palomar at 5:16 AM on July 30, 2015


Huh. Well, I will definitely watch at least the first episode, but hopefully it's less grimdark and harrowing than the source material and some other CW shows.

Here's hoping this is happening because Orphan Black showed that you can do smart, woman-focused science fiction shows. And here's hoping they realize that part of OB's success is that they lighten the mood once in a while.
posted by pie ninja at 5:28 AM on July 30, 2015


Oh, there's already a grimdark Pippi

What is seen cannot be unseen.

Consider yourself upbraided.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:35 AM on July 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


this is the most CW thing i have ever heard of
posted by Jacqueline at 5:45 AM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Every idea everybody keeps pitching to mock this sounds like something I might watch.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:50 AM on July 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


My best friend and I, both Little Women dorks, were Facebooking about this last night. I felt pretty certain they'd change Beth's death to something more likely to end in her being alive but needing a robot arm, and she said, "Or she'll have a slowly-progressing zombification disease and they'll have to keep her chained to her piano (which I guess will probably be upgraded to at least a harpsichord or something more whimsical than a piano) but at least they feed her all those limes Amy's been hoarding because the vitamin c helps keep the flesh-rot at bay," and basically why are we not writing this thing, who's the show runner, I gotta make some calls
posted by palomar at 5:56 AM on July 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


Is it any surprise? Look what happened to Laurie. If he's not fighting the Rogues Gallery, he's fighting Terminators. None more grim dark.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:58 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


The reboot of Neuromancer will be set in a lovely English garden in the springtime.

[Describing a picnic with ample wine] The sky above the Port was the color of bluebells, in a cut glass vase.
posted by moonmilk at 5:58 AM on July 30, 2015 [28 favorites]


Oh, Moonmilk, I like that very much!

IN THE AMIABLE BRIGHTNESS OF THE FAR FUTURE THERE IS ONLY PEACE.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:00 AM on July 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


Aunt March with an eye patch and a peg leg, please.
posted by palomar at 6:01 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


this is the most CW thing i have ever heard of

Needs more abs.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:01 AM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


THE DARK KNIGHT RETIRES COMFORTABLY
posted by thecaddy at 6:18 AM on July 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


The reboot of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea will be set in an Airship.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:19 AM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


THE DARK KNIGHT RETIRES COMFORTABLY

but but but, he did!
posted by leotrotsky at 6:21 AM on July 30, 2015


I will watch this. The 100, while entertaining, just doesn't have the Victorian roots that I look for in female led post-apocalyptic shows.
posted by Atreides at 6:39 AM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


THE DARK KNIGHT RETIRES COMFORTABLY

I prefer the "A bat flies through his window and Bruce Wayne thinks 'I will use my immense fortune to support political and social change, building strong neighborhood relations founded on social and economic justice, and combating crime with sensible and humane policing and judicial strategies" and so Gotham became a vibrant urban area that makes Metropolis look pretty sterile and prefab, actually" scenario myself.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:43 AM on July 30, 2015 [23 favorites]


THE DARK KNIGHT RETIRES COMFORTABLY

I prefer the "A bat flies through his window and Bruce Wayne thinks 'I will use my immense fortune to support political and social change, building strong neighborhood relations founded on social and economic justice, and combating crime with sensible and humane policing and judicial strategies" and so Gotham became a vibrant urban area that makes Metropolis look pretty sterile and prefab, actually" scenario myself.


THE DARK KNIGHT COMMUNITY ORGANIZES
posted by leotrotsky at 6:49 AM on July 30, 2015 [17 favorites]


'Facebooking' wait, what? this is a verb? I guess rather fitting in a CW thread but, well I gotta go twitterize this.
posted by sammyo at 6:53 AM on July 30, 2015


it is when i throw a book at someone's face (un crime passionnel) or put a book in a pillowcase and then club someone with it (premeditated)
posted by poffin boffin at 7:12 AM on July 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


How about a series of movies as a grimdark cyberpunk reworking of Laura Ingalls Wilder, where the Ingalls family, starting on a station orbiting Earth, flees further and further into the solar system, seeking prosperity (and escape from a relentless pursuing Corporation led by some guy with very full lips and startling eyelashes). The films could be called Little House in the Big Dark, Little House in the Mare Crisium, On the Slopes of Olympus Mons, In the Asteroid Belt, The Long Trip, and Little Town on the Rings of Saturn. It would be a big hit, especially with all the space storms and stuff.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:16 AM on July 30, 2015 [28 favorites]


So long as Pa continues to be a complete fuck-up who needlessly and repeatedly endangers the lives of his family, then the essential premise of the novels will remain the same.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:21 AM on July 30, 2015 [16 favorites]


little house is already pretty grimdark though.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:22 AM on July 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Oh yes, please walk into a fucking blizzard because you heard there might be grain in the next town over, brilliant idea Capt. Suicide. I don't care if you can play the fiddle, your daughter is blind because of you!
posted by leotrotsky at 7:23 AM on July 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


Shoulda stayed in the Big Woods and gone to work for a bank, or something. Then maybe all of their houses wouldn't be so damn little.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:24 AM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I fear I have touched a nerve.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:25 AM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


pa-hatin' jinx high five
posted by poffin boffin at 7:27 AM on July 30, 2015 [16 favorites]


I think I may be the only woman in the world who doesn't love Little Women. I read it a couple of times, and I tried, but no. Jo was tolerable, everyone else was bland and dull. (except maybe Aunt March).

However, a sci-fi reboot might make it different enough to give another shot.

I do spend a lot of time thinking about rewriting A Little Princess from the point of view of Becky, who is actually a canny street urchin who manipulates the naïve and hapless Sara into convincing the Indian Gentleman to adopt her (with collusion from Ram Dass) and so Becky ends up being in effective control of a large fortune.
posted by emjaybee at 7:30 AM on July 30, 2015 [5 favorites]



I fear I have touched a nerve.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:25 AM on July 30 [−] [!]


pa-hatin' jinx high five
posted by poffin boffin at 10:27 AM on July 30 [1 favorite −] [!]



Yeah, fuck that guy.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:36 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


My friends with kids re-reading Little House books with their kids now has been a series of "wait WTF how do I not remember what this actually was" postings on Facebook.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:40 AM on July 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


'Facebooking' wait, what? this is a verb?

Sure, why not. I mean, I guess I could have gone the long route and said, "I posted a link to an article about this on my Facebook page and said something snarky about not needing a grimdark Little Women in my life and my best friend commented on the post, so I replied to her comment, and then she replied to my comment, and we both had quite a chortle," but I figured summing it up with "Facebooking" would probably suffice for all but the most pedantic of MeFites, insert winky emoticon here lol forever
posted by palomar at 7:48 AM on July 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


I wonder about the "while trying not to kill each other" bit - isn't one of the major points of Little Women that there's immense sisterly affection between the girls? There's some disagreements, true, but there isn't even a ghost of the contemporary TV "ha ha siblings always hate each other amirite" thing.

I could certainly see a dystopian fusion - Amy goes to school and everyone has [futuristic pickled limes] but she can't afford any, plus nanobots.

There's a similarity between Little Women and Villette in that in each case, the main love story is presented as abjection.
posted by Frowner at 8:45 AM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Frowner: based on my reading of it right now (first reading, part way through) - I'd say it would be very unladylike and very unchristian of any of the girls to dislike anyone, but they are very up front about the fact that some folks try their patience, including the nosy neighbor, the schoolteacher, or occasionally their own siblings. Remember for example the scene where Jo gets so mad at Amy that Amy almost dies in an ice-skating accident. The moral of the episode is that Jo needs to watch her temper, but the anger was definitely there.
posted by idiopath at 9:02 AM on July 30, 2015


This just cries out to be written by Seanan McGuire.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 9:09 AM on July 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Remember for example the scene where Jo gets so mad at Amy that Amy almost dies in an ice-skating accident. The moral of the episode is that Jo needs to watch her temper, but the anger was definitely there.

Yeah, but that's seen as a moral problem, not a sustained and normal state of intra-sibling frustration and "trying not to kill each other".

Part of the problem in adapting Little Women, I think, is that it's a moral tale in a very different way from contemporary YA dystopias. It's very much about interpersonal morality through a progressive Christian lens, with the idea being that the girls need to evaluate themselves and their behavior against an external moral standard. Whereas I feel like the morality of the average YA dystopia is much more about the individual against the mass, the teenager creating an independent identity (and while there's certainly identity-creation in Little Women, it's not understood the same way) and about the failure of the state - whether because of state corruption and violence or the absence of the state which allows these things to flourish - or else about the need to structure a community de novo in the face of violence.

Little Women is very didactic about one's personal behavior; a lot of contemporary YA is very didactic about social structures.
posted by Frowner at 9:14 AM on July 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


Frowner: that's a very insightful take on the dynamics of the story. Sometimes I find the reading a slog because the morality of personal shortcomings against an external standard of propriety remind me all too much of the Christians I grew up around - the hateful homophobes and racists who idolized Pat Robertson, Jim Baker, and Ronald Reagan. I think it will be good for me to differentiate the personal struggle for improvement from the inflexible social conservatism in their world view, maybe reading Little Women will help with that...
posted by idiopath at 9:23 AM on July 30, 2015


But how socially conservative is their worldview? Conservative by contemporary standards, yeah, but Alcott wasn't precisely conservative for her own time. (Once you get to Little Men and the other one, and the woman doctor, or if you read some of her other books, I think this becomes more apparent.) It's difficult to imagine Alcott in the world of Jim Baker, etc, but I don't think the more transhistorical virtues that Alcott espouses - rejection of gaudy show, looking at the beam in your eye before the mote in your neighbor's, etc - are not in keeping with 80s republicanism. Or indeed any republicanism.
posted by Frowner at 9:28 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh no, I wasn't trying to criticise Alcott via '80s republicanism, I was looking at why my experience of '80s republicanism shadows my enjoyment of Alcott, and the silver lining that reading Alcott could help me empathize with relatives I would otherwise write off entirely (they aren't totally terrible people, just people of their time during some social change they couldn't keep up with).
posted by idiopath at 9:43 AM on July 30, 2015


insert winky emoticon here lol forever

Um, I believe the correct spelling is '4-eva.'

;)
posted by sexyrobot at 10:22 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


This has inspired me to get back to work on my own gritty reboot, about a child that's delusions due to faulty neurocybernetic surgery, and his conversations with his aniform combat android protectors. Yep, "The Coffin Hotel at Pooh Arcilogy is bound to be a big hit.
posted by happyroach at 10:49 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


'Facebooking' wait, what? this is a verb?

Sure, why not. I mean, I guess I could have gone the long route and said, "I posted a link to an article about this on my Facebook page and said something snarky about not needing a grimdark Little Women in my life and my best friend commented on the post, so I replied to her comment, and then she replied to my comment, and we both had quite a chortle,"


So...you talked about it, basically?
posted by clockzero at 11:35 AM on July 30, 2015


Re: "Facebook" as a verb. It's been in the UK Scrabble dictionary for several years now, on just that basis.

It's very much about interpersonal morality through a progressive Christian lens, with the idea being that the girls need to evaluate themselves and their behavior against an external moral standard.

I would say it's very much about interpersonal morality through a transcendentalist lens, with the idea being that the girls need to evaluate themselves and their behavior against an internal moral standard.

(Granted, it's understood that the standard they're intuitively tapping into is a more or less absolute one, and external guidance—Marmee, Pilgrim's Progress—can help them with navigation.)
posted by Shmuel510 at 12:10 PM on July 30, 2015


my own gritty reboot, about a child that's delusions due to faulty neurocybernetic surgery, and his conversations with his aniform combat android protectors

I have actually read this. A non-neurotypical girl living alone in a remote Martian(?) outpost, sought by space bad guys for some reason and protected by the teddy bear robots her parents made for her before they were taken by space bad guys.

It may be worth using an ask.meta to remember what that story was!
posted by moonmilk at 12:34 PM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


"I think I may be the only woman in the world who doesn't love Little Women. I read it a couple of times, and I tried, but no. Jo was tolerable, everyone else was bland and dull. (except maybe Aunt March).
However, a sci-fi reboot might make it different enough to give another shot. "


Nope, there's two of us: you and me. And yeah...I might actually watch it if it's an apocalypse show.

I'm still debating if I want to try watching The March Family Letters or not, only got through a few episodes and then wandered off...
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:55 PM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Granted, it's understood that the standard they're intuitively tapping into is a more or less absolute one, and external guidance—Marmee, Pilgrim's Progress—can help them with navigation.

That was what I was trying to get at - by "external" I was trying to say "a standard that isn't just about finding your authentic self or learning to be happy; a standard that's based on something more than the idea that your truth is your truth and that is supposed to apply to everyone". I think Little Women is much more in the old-school bildungsroman tradition that Franco Moretti describes in At Home In The World - figuring out how to grow up into your place in the world, rather than figuring out how to defend your essential self against the world.
posted by Frowner at 1:00 PM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


So...you talked about it, basically?

Sure, or you can just accept that I used a different word and LET IT GO. I mean, Christ almighty, it seems really important to some folks to pick apart this one word and my usage of it... I hope you're getting something out of it, because it's starting to be really annoying from my standpoint.
posted by palomar at 2:47 PM on July 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Nope, there's two of us: you and me.

Three. I also never cared for Little Women. It was just so... boring, you know? But yeah the post-apocalyptic reboot might fix that for us!
posted by Andrhia at 3:47 PM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Make that three.

I tried to read it when I was in college (having never read it growing up, on account of its length and moralistic tone), and what got me-- asides from the Christian moralism-- was how episodic it was. I know a lot of Victorian lit is like that, but I hate it in Dickens, and I hate it in Alcott too.

For what it's worth, I really enjoyed the movie, so I know I'm not totally averse to LW. I might watch the CW show, since I like Reign (yeah, I know) so it might be possible to enjoy it in the same spirit.

But honestly it sounds like such a pointless abortion of an idea.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 11:00 PM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


The hang-up on "ha ha she said 'facebooking'" is really weird.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:58 PM on July 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Mrs. Dalloway said she would scavenge the bio-weapons herself.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 5:27 AM on July 31, 2015 [7 favorites]


^^^ would also watch VERY MUCH
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:34 AM on July 31, 2015




From jenfullmoon's link:

Because if there’s only one reason for this gritty remake to exist, it’s for Beth to kick. some. ass.

QFT.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 1:59 AM on August 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm waiting for "Vanne-pire of Green Gables," people. You already have Megan Follows* on your damn network.

*"Reign" is, by far, my favorite terrible show.
posted by thivaia at 6:23 PM on August 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh god, I don't even know why I love super ahistorical Reign. But if this ends up like that, I am shamefully sold.
posted by corb at 6:58 AM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


the best thing about reign is how the show's wardrobe department basically just went to a CW wardrobe department tag sale and grabbed everything no one else was using and was like "yeah, this'll do". i'm pretty sure i saw some guy wearing a tricorne once.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:35 AM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


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