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Netflix Has Our Attention With The Latest East Of Eden Casting Announcement

Netflix has just become the home of a new, high-profile literary adaptation.

The streaming service is set to develop and distribute a new limited series adaptation of John Steinbeck's 1952 novel, "East of Eden." Set in California's Salinas Valley, the novel charts the interwoven stories of the Trask and Hamilton families as their various members intersect and cross paths over the years. The book, notably, has a bit of a storied Hollywood history. In addition to being an acclaimed and beloved novel in its own right, "East of Eden" was also famously adapted into an award-winning film in 1955. 

Directed by Elia Kazan, the 1955 adaptation of "East of Eden" boasts an impressive cast that includes classic film stars like James Dean, Julie Harris, Raymond Massey, Jo Van Fleet, Lois Smith, and Burl Ives. Kazan and screenwriter Paul Osborn both received Oscar nominations for their work on the film, while Van Fleet won for her performance in it. James Dean also famously received a posthumous Oscar nomination for his turn as Cal Trask.

Now, nearly 70 years after Elia Kazan's adaptation was released in theaters, progress is being made on Netflix's new, limited series adaptation of "East of Eden." In case that wasn't exciting enough, the project has also landed a major star and is being penned by an actor with a surprising link to Kazan's 1955 adaptation.

Florence Pugh has been cast in Zoe Kazan's East of Eden adaptation

Deadline has revealed today that Netflix's limited series adaptation of "East of Eden" will be penned by none other than Zoe Kazan, the granddaughter of director Elia Kazan. In an official announcement released in conjunction with the series' pickup at Netflix, Kazan said, "I fell in love with 'East of Eden' when I first read it, in my teens. Since then, adapting Steinbeck's novel — the great, sprawling, three-generational entirety of it — has been my dream."

Contemporary audiences will likely know Kazan best for her on-screen work. As an actor, she's starred in notable films and TV shows like "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs," "The Big Sick," "Our Brand Is Crisis," "Meek's Cutoff," "The Deuce," and "The Plot Against America." In 2021, she also played Pia Brewer in "Clickbait." Meanwhile, as a writer, Kazan is also credited with writing the screenplays for 2012's "Ruby Sparks" and 2018's "Wildlife." She, notably, co-wrote the latter film with its director, Paul Dano.

In addition to Kazan's involvement in the project, it has been revealed that Florence Pugh will star in the new "East of Eden" adaptation as Cathy Ames, a character Kazan describes as "astonishing" and "singular." The project is now one of several high-profile titles that Pugh is attached to star in. As of this writing, she is also set to appear in a number of upcoming movies that will likely blow everyone away, including Christopher Nolan's "Oppenheimer," Denis Villeneuve's "Dune: Part Two," and Olivia Wilde's "Don't Worry, Darling."