Zoe Kazan and Florence Pugh are creating a new version of East Of Eden for Netflix.
Like a classic Onion article, the Kazan family has a much deeper appreciation for John Steinbeck’s East Of Eden than you do: Nearly 70 years after name-namer Elia Kazan introduced the world to James Dean in his adaptation of East Of Eden, grandson Elia Kazan’s granddaughter Zoe Kazan is adapting the book for Netflix.
Zoe Kazan will write and executive produce the upcoming adaption, which will feature Florence Pugh. A Google search for “who is Florence Pugh’s grandfather?” reveals that he was not a fan of Midsommar. As far as we know, Pugh’s grandfather was not engaged in the production of the original East Of Eden, which would be entertaining.
Adapting Steinbeck’s Novel, has been Kazan’s dream
Netflix landed the project after a “competitive bidding war,” with Kazan saying in a statement that she fell in love with East Of Eden when she read it as a teenager. “Since then,” she says, “adapting Steinbeck’s novel—the great, sprawling, three-generational entirety of it—has been my dream.”
She also added that, “more than anything,” she wanted to “give full expression to the novel’s astonishing, singular antiheroine, Cathy Ames,” with the “thrilling” Pugh being her “dream Cathy.”
She does not mention her grandfather (unless you add the comment that her series would cover the entire book, whereas the older Kazan’s film only covered the final chapter), so the Kazan family connection is likely coincidental. If you’re curious,
Kazan did discuss her grandfather’s testimony to the House Un-American Activities Committee a few years ago in the lead-up to HBO’s The Plot Against America (in which she starred), but it sounds like it’s not something she’s particularly interested in revisiting (if only out of respect to the people whose names he named).