East of Eden Will Be Split In Two

Filmmaker Gary Ross (“The Hunger Games”) has spoken some more about his and Jennifer Lawrence’s plans for a new film adaptation of John Steinbeck’s classic 1952 novel “East of Eden” for Imagine Entertainmentand Universal Pictures.

Set around the Salinas Valley in California, the multi-generational story follows two sons who compete for the attention of their farmer father. The book is essentially a modern retelling of the Biblical Cain and Abel story. The property was previously filmed in 1955 and starred James Dean.

Asked where the project currently stands, Ross tells THR: “It’s one of the things that is sort of on my plate, I’m interested in doing. I’m not certain if it’s the next movie. Part of that is my schedule. Part of that is Jennifer’s schedule as well. But it’s definitely something that we intend to do.”

Speaking about the differences between the new film and the earlier Elia Kazan movie, Ross says: “The Kazan film, which is brilliant, only deals with about the last third of the novel. It deals with Cal and Aron Trask when they’re already almost adults. The novel begins much earlier, just after the Civil War. Deals with a generation earlier. It’s really remarkable.”

Thus the plan is to film the whole story, asked how he intends to do it, Ross says: “It may be two films. We may break it in half, into one generation and the next. And that’s what we’re talking about now… I am thinking about doing it as two films, we’ll see.”