Jennifer Lawrence is attached to star in two literary adaptations — John Steinbeck’s seminal 1952 novel “East of Eden” and Hannah Kent’s “Burial Rites,” both of which will be directed by Gary Ross , an individual familiar with the “Hunger Games” star’s plans has told TheWrap.
“East of Eden” is set up at Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment now that the studio and producer Brian Grazer have finalized a deal with Steinbeck’s estate.
Ross is a big fan of the novel, and while he has flirted with the ambitious idea of telling Steinbeck’s epic story over the course of two films, a studio insider tells TheWrap that the adaptation is currently planned as one movie.
Elia Kazan directed a 1955 adaptation that starred James Dean and Richard Davalos as brothers who compete for the attention of their father.
The project will be developed for Lawrence, who would play the boys’ mother, though audiences may fear that the 23 year-old Oscar winner is too young for the role of Cathy Ames.
As for “Burial Rites,” Lawrence would play a woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829, back when men scoffed at the notion of women committing violent crimes. CAA and producer Allison Shearmur will begin shopping the project to studios next week.
Of course, both of these movies will spend years in development, as Ross is currently focused on casting Disney’s “Peter and the Starcatcher.”
It remains unclear whether Ross will use a previously adapted screenplay by Paul Attanasio for “East of Eden,” or whether he’ll hire a new writer. He could also choose to rewrite the script himself.
Meanwhile, Lawrence is plenty busy of herself, with two more “Hunger Games” sequels on her schedule. She’s also attached to star in Chris Terrio’s script “The Ends of the Earth,” the Jeanette Walls memoir “The Glass Castle” and Susanne Bier’s FilmNation drama “The Rules of Inheritance.”
CAA reps Ross and Lawrence.