Steven Spielberg is expected to produce but not direct the adaptation of John Steinbeck's classic novel
Tracy Letts, who won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award for his play "August: Osage County," is in negotiations to adapt John Steinbeck's 1939 novel "The Grapes of Wrath" for DreamWorks, an individual familiar with the project has told TheWrap.
DreamWorks is nearing a deal with Steinbeck's estate for feature rights to the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, which celebrates its 75th anniversary next year.
The Depression-era tale follows the Joads, a poor family of tenant farmers who are driven from their Oklahome home by drought and head to California.
At this point, DreamWorks' Steven Spielberg is simply expected to produce, not direct, though the Oscar-winning filmmaker recently exited Bradley Cooper's Warner Bros. movie "American Sniper."
John Ford won the Best Director Oscar for his 1940 film based on the novel in which Henry Fonda starred as Tom Joad. Jane Darwell claimed the Best Supporting Actress Oscar as Ma Joad.
Letts, who was born in Oklahoma, adapted his own plays "Bug" and "Killer Joe" as features that were directed by William Friedkin. The acclaimed playwright also adapted "August: Osage County" for the Weinstein Company, which will release the film on Christmas Day. John Wells ("The Company Men") directed the movie, which is expected to be a major awards contender, as its ensemble cast includes Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor and Benedict Cumberbatch.
Letts is also an actor who will soon be seen as a U.S. Senator on Showtime's "Homeland." He's represented by Innovative Artists as an actor, Abrams Artists Agency as a writer and attorney Stan Coleman.