Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks Eye New Version of ‘Grapes of Wrath’

Studio in early discussions with John Steinbeck's estate to obtain the rights

DreamWorks is considering a new movie version of John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Grapes of Wrath," and is in early discussions with the estate of the late author for the rights, an individual familiar with the project told TheWrap Tuesday.

Steven Spielberg could possibly produce, but will not direct, according to the source.

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The 1939 Depression-era novel tells the tale of the Joads, a poor family of tenant farms driven from their Oklahoma home by drought.

John Ford won the Best Director Oscar for his 1940 film (photo top) based on the novel in which Henry Fonda starred as Tom Joad. Jane Darwell claimed the Best Supporting Actress Oscar as Ma Joad.

The timing could be right. Next year will mark the 75th anniversary of the book''s publishing.