Jennifer Lawrence and director Gary Ross scored with their adaptation of “The Hunger Games” and now they’re reteaming for an adaptation of a very different type book, John Stenbeck’s “East of Eden.”
Universal Picture and Imagine Entertainment”s Brian Grazer have secured the rights to the 1952 book for Ross to direct. Ross directed Lawrence in 2012’s “The Hunger Games,” but was replaced by Francis Lawrence for the sequels, starting with the upcoming “Catching Fire.”
Partially inspired by the story of Cain and Abel, “Eden” centers on two families in early 20th century rural California. Oscar winner Lawrence will play Cathy Ames, the mean-spirited, estranged mother of two sons who compete for the attention of their stern farmer father.
The lengthy, multi-generational novel will be split into two films, according to Deadline. There’s no word on who will adapt the screenplay, but Ross himself is the most likely candidate.
“East of Eden” was first adapted for the big screen in 1955 by director Elia Kazan (“On the Waterfront”) and starred James Dean and Raymond Massey. The acclaimed film only focused on the book’s second half.
Meanwhile, a new version of Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath,” first adapted in 1939 by John Ford, is also being developed by Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks.
Lawrence will soon be seen in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and David O. Russell’s “American Hustle.”