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By PEOPLE.COM/Jordan Runtagh
Aug 26, 2018 @ 11:15 am

Emma Watson has been tapped to join the A-list cast of Greta Gerwig’s cinematic adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.

While her exact role remains unknown at present, EW confirms that it was the same character Emma Stone was previously rumored to play. According to a report in Variety, Stone was forced to bow out of the film because it conflicted with promotional obligations for her upcoming movie, The Favourite.

The former Harry Potter lead will star alongside Meryl Streep, Timothee Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan, and Laura Dern in the Sony Pictures production, which will be both written and directed by Gerwig.

Steve Granitz/Getty

The film will reunite the auteur with Ronan, who starred in last year’s Lady Bird — the Gerwig-helmed project that earned five Oscar nominations.

Written in 1868, Alcott’s novel tells the tale of four sisters coming of age in Civil War-torn America. A big-budget version of the book hit the big screen in 1994, starring Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes, and Christian Bale.

This won’t be Watson’s first period piece. Last year she appeared in the live-action remake of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast to critical and commercial acclaim. Ironically, her involvement precluded her from appearing in La La Land — and the film that ultimately earned Stone the 2017 Best Actress Oscar.

“I knew I had horse training, I knew I had dancing, I knew I had three months of singing ahead of me, and I knew I had to be in London to really do that,” Watson said during a SiriusXM Town Hall in March 2017. “And this wasn’t a movie I could just kind of parachute into. I knew I had to do the work, and I had to be where I had to be. So scheduling conflict-wise, it just didn’t work out.”