Forgive the Lady Bird quote, but the comparisons are inevitable. Lady Bird is woven into Vanity Fair’s exclusive first look at Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, which was published this morning. The sneak peek at her follow-up to Lady Bird includes 11 new production and behind-the-scenes stills, and an interview with both Greta and the latest Jo March, Saoirse Ronan. It’s delicious - and a great tease for yet another Timothee Chalamet press tour.

Greta promises the film will be a reimagining of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel, with several nods to the 1994 Winona Ryder film of the same name. For a generation or two, Winona was the classic Jo March, the headstrong feminist who aspired to be a writer, and a young woman who shirked her gender roles, with big eyes and big dreams in Civil War-era Massachusetts. According to Saoirse, Winona was her first introduction to all things Jo, a character Greta calls, “the person I wanted to be.” Now it’s Saoirse’s turn to play Jo, and Greta’s vision of her and her fearlessness.

“This feels like autobiography,” Gerwig says, in Vanity Fair. “When you live through a book, it almost becomes the landscape of your inner life. … It becomes part of you, in a profound way.”

Last July, Lainey and Duana recorded an episode of the Show Your Work podcast which focused on Greta’s proposed adaptation, and notably asked “Why now?” In the piece, both Greta and Saoirse answer that, and insist the film is a timeless ode to women, friendship, self-determination and relationships, romantic or otherwise. Greta calls the sisters “the most modern people who ever existed.” We still don’t know much about it, but we have the assurance that the film will feel very “2019.” It’s a small taste of what’s to come.

But back to the Lady Bird homage, which dominates the piece. Saoirse and Greta exchange compliments and love for each other’s creative vision and abilities. Greta calls Saoirse the “barometer of… that truth,” whereas Saoirse says that she “idolize[s] her” director. And then there’s the reteaming of Saoirse and Timothee, who plays Laurie, the lovesick family friend. This is their third film together, as they have a Wes Anderson collaboration in the can, too. Saoirse knows we’ve been dying to see them reunite and have Lady Bird get her happy ending from the boy who omitted facts about losing his virginity, because he hadn’t “lied in two years.”

She says: “I loved that in Lady Bird, he was the one that broke my heart, but I got to break his heart in Little Women.” 

Cue the Lady Bird memes.

Their co-star Beanie Feldstein wants in, too:

Timothee is more of an internet boyfriend than Christian Bale was when he played the part, and has an Oscar nomination under his belt for Call Me By Your Name, something Christian did not have at the time. This film really has Oscar written all over it: three-time winner Meryl Streep, two-time nominee Laura Dern, two-time nominee Greta, three-time nominee Saoirse, and then some. Plus, there are the sisters: Emma Watson as Meg, Florence Pugh (whose career couldn’t be hotter right now – Sarah’s been writing about her ascent for months) as Amy, and Eliza Scanlen, the scenestealing Amma from Sharp Objects as Beth. 

And Vanity Fair is the best place to launch this exclusive. Awards season will be shorter this year, due to the Oscars’ early date. The accelerated schedule will require a lot of adjusting from studios and campaign strategists, and since the film is set for a Christmas Day release, they need the word of mouth boost. So why not align themselves with Vanity Fair during Emmy campaign season, which gives them the glossy pedigree they crave, and inserts them into an awards-friendly conversation before the fall festival announcements begin? It’s a positive association, and arguably more accessible than dropping first look photos in an industry publication, like The Hollywood Reporter or Variety. They’re going for word of mouth, so that when or if a festival announcement happens (fingers crossed for TIFF!), the buzz has already started. And leaning in to the Lady Bird hive — which includes Academy darling Bradley Cooper — may be the best strategy yet, especially since the “OMG, Meryl!” capital has been consumed by Big Little Lies.


Attached - Saoirse Ronan at the Gucci Cruise in May.