Jennifer Lawrence Teams Up With Gary Ross For ‘East Of Eden’

Jennifer Lawrence and Gary Ross worked together in the first Hunger Games and now they’re teaming up again for the novel adaptation East Of Eden.

Universal and Brian Grazer from Imagine Entertainment have sealed a deal with the John Steinbeck estate, for a new version of the acclaimed 1952 novel.

Mike Fleming Jr. from Deadline is reporting exclusively that this is Ross’ favorite American novel and that the director is planning on telling the story in two films.

There have been two previous adaptations, a 1955 film directed by Eliza Kazan starring James Dean, Raymond Massey, and Julie Harris and a 1981 television series starring Jane Seymour, Timothy Buttoms, and Bruce Boxleitner.

The original plotline was as follows: “In the Salinas Valley, in and around World War I, Cal Trask feels he must compete against overwhelming odds with his brother Aron for the love of their farmer father Adam.”

According to Deadline, Ross wants Jennifer Lawrence to play Cathy Ames, the cruel mother of the boys and estranged wife of the farmer. The films will tell their stories leading to the rivalry between the sons.

The studio and Imagine originally bought the novel in 2004, after the modern version of Biblical characters Cain and Abel, rose to the top of bestselling books after Oprah Winnfrey picked it as her first book of her reborn book club.

Afterwards the option ran its course, but Grazer put together a new deal with Lawrence and Ross in place to pitch it to the studio.

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Jennifer Lawrence won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2012 for her performance in Silver Liinnings Playbook which seemed to bring new life into the project.

The studio, director, and producers are working on the details of the project as when they purchased the novel originally a script was written by Paul Attanasio, but Ross might re-write the whole thing or at least have some input into what he wants the film to look like.

Gary Ross is a four-time Oscar nominee for adaptations Seabiscuit andThe Hunger Games. Next for the director is Peter And The Starcatchers based on the Peter Pan story.

Jennifer Lawrence is filming the last two installments of The Hunger Games, Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2. Next, she stars in the sequel Hunger Games: Catching Fire and David O. Russell’s American Hustle.