Culture / TV

Florence Pugh is leading the Netflix adaptation of ‘East of Eden’

florence pugh east of eden

Florence Pugh has been announced as the star of the new Netflix adaptation of John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. Written and executively produced by Zoe Kazan, the series is still in early development, with Pugh announced as portraying central character, Cathy.  

What is the plot of East of Eden?

Published in 1952, East of Eden is set in the Salinas Valley of california, in a period stretching from the American Civil War through to the end of the First World War. The novel reels the stories of the Hamilton Family, a brood of nine children immigrated from Ireland, and the Trask family, helmed by patriarch Adam Trask. As the story continues, it focusses more intimately on the Trask family and the drama enthralling Adam, wife Cathy and children, Cal and Aron. 

Kazan said she first read the novel in her formative years and developed an affinity for it, with producing her own adaptation a goal. 

“I fell in love with East of Eden when I first read it, in my teens,” said Kazan in a statement. “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. Florence Pugh is our dream Cathy; I can’t imagine a more thrilling actor to bring this character to life.”

When has the novel previously been adapted?

Kazan’s grandfather, Elia Kazan, helmed the original 1955 adaptation of the novel, with the film only partially adapted and focusing on the final section of the book, primarily on characters Cal and Aron in their teenage years. Best known for boasting legendary James Dean in his first leading role, Julie Harris, Raymond Massey and richard Davalos also starred in the Best Picture-nominated feature. Additionally, East of Eden was also adapted into a three-part miniseries in 1981, directed by Richard Shapiro, and starring Jane Seymour, Timothy Bottoms and Bruce Boxleitner. 

When does East of Eden premiere on Netflix? 

As the series is still in early development, it is unclear how long we will have to wait to see Pugh in East of Eden however, thanks to the powers of social media, we may be kept abreast with behind-the-scenes snaps posted to Pugh’s Instagram. 

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