Florence Pugh to Lead Zoe Kazan’s ‘East of Eden’ Series at Netflix

Kazan's grandfather Elia Kazan helmed the 1955 adaptation of John Steinbeck's "East of Eden" starring James Dean.
Florence Pugh, Zoe Kazan
Florence Pugh, Zoe Kazan

Don’t Worry Darling,” there will be plenty more of Florence Pugh on screens soon.

The “Dune: Part Two” star is confirmed to lead a Netflix limited series adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel “East of Eden,” with Zoe Kazan writing and executive producing. Netflix landed the limited series after a competitive bidding war.

Kazan’s grandfather Elia Kazan first adapted “East of Eden” for Warner Bros. in 1955, with James Dean starring in his first major screen role. The Netflix limited series will explore themes of trauma and repair, love and betrayal, duty and free will, as did the original novel and screen adaptation. Pugh will play antiheroine Cathy Ames, portrayed by Jo Van Fleet in the 1955 film. Van Fleet won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her turn in the role; Jane Seymour later took on the part for an ABC miniseries adaptation in 1982 and received a Best Actress Golden Globe.

“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,” Kazan said. “More than anything, I have wanted to give full expression to the novel’s astonishing, singular anti-heroine, Cathy Ames. 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 rest of the “East of Eden” cast has yet to be announced and a director is not yet attached. Anonymous Content and Endeavor Content are co-producing the series as part of a partnership.

Kazan previously penned the films “Ruby Sparks” and “Wildlife.” As a writer-actress, Kazan is also portraying journalist Jodi Kantor in #MeToo biopic “She Said” opposite Carey Mulligan as the two New York Times reporters who broke the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations.

Meanwhile, Pugh is leading Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling,” in theaters September 23. Pugh is also set to star in “Oppenheimer,” plus writer/director Zach Braff’s “A Good Person.”

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