He signed on months ago to direct, now filmmaker Gary Ross (“The Hunger Games”) has agreed to pen the adapted screenplay as well for the new adaptation of John Steinbeck’s 1952 novel “East of Eden” at Imagine Entertainment and 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.
Jennifer Lawrence will play Cathy Ames, the estranged and mentally unstable wife of the farmer and a cold and cruel mother to the boys. Brian Grazer will produce the project.
Due to the size of the story, a two film adaptation had previously been proposed with the first focused on the parents and the second on the two sons when they become adults. Whether that’s still the plan is unknown at this time.
The book was famously adapted by Elia Kazan for the screen in 1955 and featured James Dean in his first major screen role. That film though was only loosely based on the second half of the novel.