Jennifer Lawrence and Director Gary Ross Reunite for EAST OF EDEN Films

     September 25, 2013


The Hunger Games winning team of director Gary Ross and star Jennifer Lawrence will reunite on a new adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel, East of Eden.  Since one film isn’t enough to tackle Steinbeck’s self-professed greatest work, the plan is to tell the tale over two installments.  Written in 1952, East of Eden is Steinbeck’s retelling of both the Adam and Eve, and Cain and Abel mythologies, centering on two families and their intertwining destinies.  A 1955 adaptation from director Elia Kazan saw James Dean and Richard Davalos starring as the Trask brothers, who competed for the affections of their farmer father, Adam (Raymond Massey).  Hit the jump for more on how Lawrence fits into this new take.

east-of-eden-book-coverNews of Ross and Lawrence teaming up for East of Eden comes via Deadline.  Lawrence would play “Cathy Ames, the cold and cruel mother of the boys and estranged wife of the farmer.  The films will tell their stories, leading into the rivalry between their sons.”  The new adaptation comes after a deal closed between the Steinbeck estate and Universal Picture and Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer.  With East of Eden in the works and a new adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath moving forward, I wouldn’t be surprised to see news of an Of Mice and Men adaptation coming next.

Ross and Lawrence may also be teaming up on an adaptation of the Hannah Kent novel, Burial Rites, a tale of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829. The drama takes place between the murder and the prosecution of the case against a woman who is victimized and powerless against the forces trying to send her to a public execution. Ross will direct and Lawrence wil play the protagonist.”

Here’s the book’s synopsis (via Amazon):

Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.

  • Matt

    I live in the Salinas Valley, this is really cool. I wonder if they would film scenes near here?

    • Mixed Race rich kid NYC

      Does the state offer good tax incentives ?

  • justwondering

    how would Lawrence play a mother? isn’t she too young for that?

    • Guest

      The book covers over 50 years, Jen will be playing the part of the story where Cathy is young. The 1950s movie only told a part of the story, not the whole book.

  • Rob

    East of Eden was a pet project of Kristen Stewart’s, but she could never raise the funding for it, even though she’s been trying since 2008.

    Since her cheating with her married director scandal, it looks like no studio wants to invest in her, and Jennifer is walking off with all the plum roles. How the mighty have fallen. Jen will be sensational, she’s the best actress of her generation.

  • Oskar Stef

    Any news whether Ross will use Paul Attanasio’s screenplay (Paul wrote ‘Donnie Brasco’, ‘Quiz Show’).

  • brett1368

    This is probably the most exciting news I’ve ever heard. East of Eden is my favorite book of all time, I’ve read it over and over throughout the years and never get tired of it. I’ve seen the Jimmy Dean version of the book and while it is a masterpiece, it left a LOT of the book out because of course, it would be impossible to do in one movie. There was a TV adaptation w/ Jane Seymour playing the evil Cathy Ames, done in 2 parts and it was ok but that too left a great deal out — the part about how Cathy was evil since she was a little girl never made it to the adaptation. With Jennifer Lawrence cast as Cathy, I surmise this wil be a great film indeed — and probably the meatiest role JL will ever tackle. Hope this movie version is faithful and tackles the ENTIRE book. Can’t WAIT for this to hit the screen!

  • Man pippy

    Disappointing she’ll be working with Gary Ross again.

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