Jennifer Lawrence and Gary Ross Reteam for 'East of Eden'

Jennifer Lawrence Cannes - P 2013
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Jennifer Lawrence Cannes - P 2013

Brian Grazer and Imagine Entertainment will produce the adaptation for Universal.

Jennifer Lawrence is reteaming with her Hunger Games director Gary Ross for a new adaptation of John Steinbeck’s East of Eden.

Universal, which just closed a deal with the Steinbeck estate, is behind the movie that Brian Grazer and Imagine Entertainment will produce. 

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Set in California's Salinas Valley prior to World War I, the novel told of two families over the course of two generations, loosely alluding to the Biblical tale of Cain and Abel.

The book was famously adapted as a 1955 James Dean movie directed by Elia Kazan. That movie focused on the second half of Steinbeck's book and on the second generation.

Universal Pictures first acquired the rights to the project in 2004 after the book was chosen for Oprah’s Book Club list. The option lapsed and the producer and studio had to go back to the estate to regain the rights.

It is unclear as to who will tackle the script, but Ross has a tendency to write or shape the scripts of movies he helms, be it Hunger Games or Seabiscuit or Pleasantville.

Anna Culp will serve as executive producer.

Ross is next slated to direct Peter and the Starcatchers for Disney, while Lawrence is shooting the first part of the last Hunger Games movies, Mockingjay.

Ross is repped by CAA and attorney Alan Wertheimer, Lawrence by CAA and attorneys Gretchen Rush and Steve Warren. Eden was repped by Geoff Sanford, Jill Gillett and Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein at RWSG Agency.