Zoe Kazan following in grandfather Elia Kazan's footsteps with East of Eden limited series
Another Kazan is venturing into the Salinas Valley.
Actress and screenwriter Zoe Kazan is developing a limited series based on the classic John Steinbeck novel East of Eden, following in the footsteps of her grandfather Elia Kazan nearly 70 years after he directed a film adaptation starring James Dean.
According to Deadline Hollywood, which first reported the news, Kazan will write and executive-produce the Netflix project, and Florence Pugh (Little Women, Black Widow) is on board to star as the manipulative matriarch Cathy Ames. (Representatives for Netflix and Kazan didn't immediately respond to EW's request for comment.)
First published in 1952, East of Eden is a sweeping, ambitious work telling the interlocking stories of the Trask and Hamilton families over three generations in Central California. Elia Kazan's film adaptation, released in 1955, marked Dean's first major screen role and also starred Julie Harris, Raymond Massey, Richard Davalos, and Jo Van Fleet.
In a statement to Deadline, Kazan said she "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. More than anything, I have wanted to give full expression to the novel's astonishing, singular antiheroine, Cathy Ames."
She added, "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. I hope that with our partners at Netflix, Anonymous Content, and Endeavor Content, we can do justice to this material — and shed new light on it for a 21st century audience."
The limited series, which is reportedly still in early development, marks Kazan's first foray into TV writing. She previously penned the screenplays for Wildlife and Ruby Sparks. Pugh most recently starred in Marvel's Hawkeye TV series, and her upcoming projects include Don't Worry Darling, Oppenheimer, and Dune: Part Two.