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A new TV adaptation of Louisa May Alcott‘s classic novel Little Women is in the works, and, with cameras due to start rolling in July, we’re finally getting word who might be in the cast.

This post has been updated on July, 7 at 11:00am, with confirmation, via BBC Media Centre, that Dame Angela Lansbury will be taking on the role of Aunt March, the well-to-do family matriarch played by the inimitable Mary Wickes in the 1994 film adaptation. It was originally reported that she was in talks, according to Deadline.

This is another indication that the spritely 91-year-old is exploring roles with a bit of an unexpected edge. Don’t believe us? Well, she’s just finished filming her part in Mary Poppins Returns, which, according to Entertainment Weekly, sees her play the “Balloon Lady,” who “wreaks helium havoc” in the park during “one of Mary Poppins’ outing with the Banks children.”

Oh my. Mrs. Potts this is not.

Nor is Aunt March the nicest of characters, what with her stern attitude to the girls’ upbringing, though we’re sure Dame Angela will make us fall in love with her somehow.

The new three-part adaptation of Little Women is being co-produced by the BBC and PBS Masterpiece, so expect a top-notch evening of drama in both the U.K. and U.S. on the respective channels. Not only that, but it’s being scripted by Heidi Thomas, the creator of Call the Midwife and Cranford, which is about as perfect a résumé you could ask for when it comes to rewriting Alcott‘s beloved classic.

The book’s last major screen outing was the 1994 film, which starred Winona Ryder, Claire Danes, and Kirsten Dunst as the March sisters, with Susan Sarandon as Marmee, Christian Bale as Laurie, and Gabriel Byrne as Freddy Bhaer, so our minds are racing as to who will play those parts in this new version.

Expect further casting announcements soon, and the series to air at some point in 2018.

Do you think Dame Angela will make a good Aunt March?

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.