Jennifer Lawrence Cast As Cathy in “East of Eden”

As reported by and various other media outlets, Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence has been cast as the young Cathy in an adaptation of the John Steinbeck’s 1952 masterpiece and a personal favorite book of mine.

My immediate reaction? Well, I feel like the published reports are doing a disservice to the project by referring to it as a remake. My theory? One reason why remake sounds so appealing is that it invokes the legendary James Dean. In addition, I have yet to see the finished product (obviously), but I am confident that this will be a big screen adaptation all on its own. My “evidence” lies with the fact that Ms. Lawrence is slated to play a young version of Cathy. For me, this signals that this film, unlike the Elia Kazan version, would cover material from the first part of the novel (the 1955 Kazan classic started further down the like with main protagonists Cal and Abel as young men).

James Dean and Julie Harris in the 1955 film version of "East of Eden"

James Dean and Julie Harris in the 1955 film version of “East of Eden”

At this time, I also refer you to a “condensed analysis,” i.e., Sparknotes of the novel, if you are not so inclined, by time or temperament, to read it. That said, I do suggest that you read the book. It will give you a great primer on what is in store for audiences.

As for this earlier version, while I never posted a review here on, overall, I enjoyed it; the performances all-around were fantastic. However with a running time of nearly two hours, it was nearly impossible for Kazan to condense such a voluminous source material into a film you could watch in one sitting. I would be curious to see how this one shapes up.

East of Eden will be directed by Hunger Games director Gary Ross and produced by Brian Grazer.

Readers: Are you looking forward to this? Please comment below.


  1. I’m not sure how I feel about this. I LOVED the first film with James Dean and Julie Harris, Raymond Massey and Dick Davalos. I can’t imagine anyone else playing these roles. I saw it in the theater many eons ago. I can still hum the beautiful music.

    Who will play Cal?

    I could maybe see Ed Harris playing the father.

    But I’ll take a wait and see attitude.
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  2. East of Eden is one of my favourite books, if not my favourite, I didn’t knew they were making a film out of it. Although I am excited and I really want to see it transported on the big screen….Gary Ross? I mean, really? this is a masterpiece, they could have chosen someone else. Although I do like Jennifer Lawrence, I am sure she will do a good job, the Cathy part is difficult. I am curious who will cast in the brothers roles.
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    • Hey Diana, How have you been? Like you I am wondering about the directorial choice, granted I am not expert on Ross’ CV, but the material should be handled with the utmost of care. But of course I may be biased because of my love of the book.

  3. I have never seen the original, Iba, but I quite like Lawrence so I’m curious to see how this would pan out. Let’s hope at least they’d cast an actor who’s her match though.
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