When it comes to remaking or rebooting a piece of popular entertainment, there are many approaches to consider. You could, like the new Vacation movie, make it the story of a new generation of the family that starred in the original. Or, you could swap the genders of the main cast, like the new Ghostbusters film. You could even try the prequel treatment, like the upcoming Kong: Skull Island.
Of, if you’re The CW, you could create an entirely new concept with basically no resemblance to the original story that’s linked only by a title and character names.
Deadline reports that the network – which sports teen-aimed hits like The Vampire Diaries and superhero shows like The Flash – has begun developing Little Women, a new drama series from writer Alexis Jolly and producer Michael Weatherly (who you may know from NCIS). So far, this makes total sense, right? Little Women is an enduring favorite of young readers everywhere, The CW is a youth-fueled network, so why shouldn’t they want to try a new adaptation of the heartwarming March family saga? The thing is, though, they’re not really doing Little Women. They’re doing…well…just read this:
“Written by Jolly, Little Women is described as a hyper-stylized, gritty adaptation of the 1868 novel by Louisa May Alcott, in which 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.”
Little Women has been adapted many, many times, and in many different ways. There are six film versions, two seasons of live-action TV and two seasons of anime, a stage play, a musical, and an opera. There’s even a webseries that takes a modern day look at the story. It’s been twisted into a number of different creative directions, and now it seems The CW’s direction is “throw out everything but the marketable name and then do whatever the hell we want.”
In fairness, this is a project in the development stage, and a lot could change by the time the show materializes, if it actually makes it that far. The connections to Louisa May Alcott’s original novel could be made much clearer by then, and hell, even if they aren’t, the show could turn out to be entertaining despite its rather odd initial premise. Whatever the case, we can officially stop complaining about “gritty” superhero movies now, because Hollywood has left that behind and moved on to “gritty” beloved children’s classics.