This is Florence Pugh’s world, and we all live in it. The Oscar-nominated actress, whose list of high-profile upcoming projects includes Olivia Wilde don’t worry darling and the highly anticipated sequel to Dunes, added another buzz project to its list: Netflix’s adaptation of East of Eden.
The new version of John Steinbeck’s classic novel of the same name, which Pugh stars in, will be a limited series written and produced by Zoe Kazan. Steinbeck’s 1952 magnum opus tells the intertwined stories of two families, the Hamiltons and the Trasks, living in California’s Salinas Valley from Civil War times until the end of World War II. The Hamiltons are an Irish immigrant family and the Trasks are a wealthy family headed by patriarch Adam.
Kazan’s take on the ambitious novel will focus on the members of the Trask family, in particular, and how they are shaped by monumental historical events. Pugh will play Cathy Ames, the “anti-heroine” of the novel, as Kazan describes her in a declaration at the deadline. Cathy is the sadly menacing future wife of Adam Trask, which makes Kazan’s take on the character quite… unique.
It’s especially fitting for Kazan to tackle the beloved family drama: his grandfather, Elia Kazan, directed the 1955 film version. The Kazan elder’s film was a partial adaptation of the second half of the source material, focusing on Adam and Kate (née Cathy) Trask’s sons, Cal and Aron. The iconic film earned multiple Oscar nominations and is best known for starring James Dean as Cal in his first major acting role.
“I fell in love with East of Eden when I first read it, as a teenager,” Zoe Kazan told Deadline.. “Since then, adapting Steinbeck’s novel – the sprawling grand entirety of it spanning three generations – has been my dream.”
East of Eden is still in the early stages of development, as producers look to recruit the rest of the Trask family and find a director for the project. Pugh serves as an executive producer alongside Kazan.
An actress herself, Kazan has appeared in films and shows like The big sick and The devil. She is set to play Jodi Kantor, one of the reporters who exposed Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault story, in the film. She saysLater this year. She has written two feature films, ruby sparks and Wildlife, but East of Eden will be his first television writing credit.