When I heard that Jennifer Lawrence and her Hunger Games director, Gary Ross were planning on making another East of Eden film I confess to cringing a little. The iconic version of Steinbeck's classic starring James Dean (he was nominated for a Best Actor posthumously!) came immediately to mind, as I'm sure it did to you. It wasn't so much that I objected to their chutzpah in attempting such heights, it was more a case of who the hell would Jennifer Lawrence play??? Not Abra, I don't see the Julie Harris part appealing to her; I think Lawrence likes her women less conflicted, more direct. And surely not Cathy; while Lawrence is a natural for "the most evil woman in the world" it's a supporting part in Kazan's film - in fact it earned actress Jo Van Fleet a Best Supporting Oscar. I wouldn't have thought Lawrence would be interested in supporting parts at this point in her career. Take another look at that poster; the Jo Van Fleet as character doesn't even make the cut!
But then I saw this sexy old book cover actually hyping the Cathy character and read this linked article in the New York Times. Unlike you, smarty pants, I'd completely forgotten that Elia Kazan's movie focused on the last half of Steinbeck's novel (gimme a break I read the book in 1977).
Apparently Ross' plan is to make two separate films. And before he gets to Kazan's territory for film two he'll use the first movie to delve into the lives of the first generation of the Trask family; a portion of the sweeping story in which Cathy plays a much more central role as a bad, bad girl.
The cool pic of Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in Serena is from the tumblr Jennifer Lawrence Daily. What do you think of the East of Eden casting? Is Jennifer Lawrence up to the task?
More cool old East of Eden book covers here