The first photos of Saoirse Ronan in the upcoming adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic sibling coming-of-age-story Little Women have been released.

The 2020 film reunites Ronan with Lady Bird writer-director Greta Gerwig and star Timothée Chalamet.

The cast also includes Laura Dern, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Meryl Streep and Emma Watson.

Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan and Eliza Scanlen in Little Women

Ronan is playing Jo March, with Pugh portraying Amy March; Scanlen playing Beth March and Watson playing Meg March. Chalamet will play Laurie, with Dern as Marmee March and Streep as Aunt March.

Speaking to Vanity Fair last month, Ronan shared her joy at getting to break Chalamet's heart in Little Women.

Ronan said of reuniting with Chalamet onscreen, "I loved that in Lady Bird, he was the one that broke my heart, but I got to break his heart in Little Women."

Little Women opens in January 2020

The Irish star, who grew up as an only child, singled out another positive factor to shooting the film: "I got to have sisters."

Writer-director Gerwig said her film will explore a "different kind of gendered relationship".

She said: "Jo is a girl with a boy's name, Laurie is a boy with a girl's name. In some ways they are each other's twins.

Writer-director Greta Gerwig on set with Meryl Streep

"They find each other before they've committed to a gender. It wouldn't be wrong to call Saoirse handsome and Timothée beautiful.

"Both have a slightly androgynous quality that makes them perfect for these characters."

Gerwig said of working with Ronan again: "I'm so blessed to work with [Saoirse] twice. She's such a filmmaker as an actor. She's like a barometer of... that truth that rings true."

Ronan added of Gerwig: "In the truest sense of the word, I just idolise her."

Little Women opens in cinemas in January 2020.

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