Florence Pugh, star of Midsommar, has recently announced that she will be starring in an upcoming limited series adaptation of East of Eden on Netflix. The adaptation, led by Zoe Kazan (The Big Sick), will be the second on-screen adaptation of John Steinbeck’s 1952 novel, with the first adaptation of a 1955 movie starring James Dean.
The novel East of Eden, written by John Steinbeck and published in 1952, tells a long and extensive tale, beginning in the early 1900s but stretching as far back as the Civil War. The novel begins with the story of Samuel and Liza Hamilton, Irish immigrants who have nine children to raise in Salinas Valley, California. The Hamilton family finds itself in close contact with the well-off Trask family after Adam Trask, a military adviser, buys the best land available in Salinas Valley; Adam’s life is explained in a series of flashbacks and a parallel story that focuses on his wife, Cathy. After Cathy runs away from her family and eventually becomes a prostitute, Adam is left to raise his twin sons – studious Aron and rebellious Caleb – on his own, seeking help from his staff and the rest of the valley.
‘East of Eden’ on Netflix: the Newest On-Screen Adaptation
According to Variety, the first on-screen adaptation of East of Eden came in the form of a 1955 movie headed by Elia Kazan, Zoe Kazan’s grandfather. The film features Hollywood superstar James Dean in his first leading role as Caleb, aka “Cal”; the film also starred Raymond Massey (Arsenic and Old Lace) as Adam Trask and Jo Van Fleet (Cinderella) as Cathy Trask. In the Netflix limited series East of Eden, Florence Pugh is slated to play Cathy – regarding the role, Zoe Kazan, who will write and executive produce the series, told Deadline:
“Florence Pugh is our dream Cathy; I can’t imagine a more thrilling actor to bring this character to life. Writing this limited series over the last two years has been the creative highpoint of my life.”
East of Eden on Netflix, which is reported to be in the early stages of development, will be produced by Anonymous Content (Swan Song) and Endeavor Content (Nine Perfect Strangers). Zoe Kazan will write and produce the series, marking her first major writing role. Any further information on the series, including casting details and a projected release date, are currently unknown.