John Steinbeck‘s truly, honestly epic family saga East of Eden begins with two different story threads, one following Adam Trask, the other following Cathy Ames, the two of them weaving together as the book rolls on. After this the story then moves forward and follows a later generation.
Gary Ross is planning to adapt the novel into a pair of movies. According to Deadline, he’s looking to make the split between the generations.
So it’s really only for the first film that he’ll need Jennifer Lawrence, his pick to play Cathy Ames. Still, it’s this reteaming of the Hunger Games director and star that seems to have gotten the project going and the option secured from Steinbeck’s estate. According to the story, Brian Grazer and Universal made the deal to adapt the book:
in a competitive situation, this one built around Ross and Lawrence.
And Ross’ and Lawrence’s agents have been planning to go out to the studios, looking to set the duo up on another project together.
This would be another period literary adaption, a movie version of Hannah Kent‘s novel Burial Rites.
I’ve never read it, or indeed heard of it before, but Amazon says:
Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.
Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes’s death looms, the farmer’s wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they’ve heard.
Some of the same imagery there to East of Eden, at least, if not similar thematic material.
I think Ross is fantastic, Lawrence similarly so, and if they were going around and around trying to find funding for a film of Everybody Poops they’d have my attention. When they’re setting about Steinbeck, no matter how majestic Elia Kazan‘s previous East of Eden might be, this new one has my full attention.
It remains to be seen what will happen with the Burial Rites plans now East of Eden is going forward, and where Gary Ross’ proposed film of Peter and the Starcatchers falls in all of this,