As first reported by Deadline, actress and screenwriter Zoe Kazan (Clickbait) is writing and executive producing the limited series, with Pugh attached to co-produce alongside starring. Anonymous Content and Endeavor Content will co-produce the project, which is said to be still in early development.
East of Eden details the lives of two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons, and their interwoven stories. According to Deadline, the series is expected to explore the novel’s themes of trauma and repair, love and betrayal, and duty and free will. It will portray an intimate portrait of the Trask family against the backdrop of huge historical forces.
“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,” said Kazan (via Deadline), whose grandfather, Elia Kazan, directed the James Dean-starring 1955 film adaptation of the famous novel.
“More than anything, I have wanted to give full expression to the novel’s astonishing, singular antiheroine, Cathy Ames,” she continued. “Florence Pugh is our dream Cathy; I can’t imagine a more thrilling actor to bring this character to life.”
Pugh had her big break in 2019, starring as professional wrestler Paige in the biographical sports film Fighting with My Family, the despondent Dani in the horror movie Midsommar, and Amy March in the period drama Little Women. She received Academy Award and BAFTA nominations for her role in the latter. More recently, she starred as Yelena Belova / Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero film Black Widow and the Disney+ miniseries Hawkeye.
“Writing this limited series over the last two years has been the creative highpoint of my life,” said Kazan, who previously penned the films Ruby Sparks and Wildlife. “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.”
East of Eden, TBA, Netflix