Jennifer Lawrence Cast As Cathy in “East of Eden”

As reported by MTV.com 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 iluvcinema.com, 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.

Casting News: Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana Lined Up for “Out of the Furnace”

Relativity Media has inked deals with Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana and Sam Shepard  to star as the leads in the upcoming drama currently titled Out of the Furnace, written and directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart).

Bale will star as older brother Russell Baze in the film alongside Affleck who will play the role of younger brother Rodney Baze Jr. Saldana has also been cast as Bale’s love interest Lena Warren and Shepard will play Red, Russell and Rodney Baze’s uncle.

Production is set to begin in Braddock, Pennsylvania later this month.

Casting News (or This week in Casting – it’s only TUESDAY)!

Every week news comes out of Hollywood about someone or other being cast in XYZ’s movie. Not saying that I do not pay much attention to the news, but usually it passes over me and is duly noted for reference later on. However this week (and as the title of my post says – it is only Tuesday), my head has been swirling with all of the news – three items in particular – that have crossed my path.

I will have read the articles related to the news but will not pretend to have fully reflected upon what I have read. For this I will rely on you, my readership, for any insight you may have.

 

1. Hey, We Got a Lois …

After much speculation, the role of Lois Lane in the Christopher Nolan/Zack Snyder Superman: Man of Steel has been given to multiple Oscar-nominee Amy Adams. In general, I think that she is an good choice. She is after all a very talented actress who has the ability to take on whatever comes her way. As I stated on Anomalous Material, my main reservation with this selection is whether or not she and Henry Cavill (Kent/Superman) will work well on the screen together. In the end I guess that is why we go to the movies!

 

2. Speaking of Superman …

This week, another big (Oscar-nominated) name was brought up in connection with Man of Steel – Viggo Mortensen (cannot believe he is 52). Anyway, after reports (thanks again for reporting, Anomalous Material) circulated that he dropped out of Snow White and the Huntsman, the internet started buzzing about his possible involvement in the Superman project as a possible villain. This potential casting leaves me a bit perplexed; like I said on the blog, he must be getting a shed-load of moolah for this; based on his recent successes, I assume he is in a position where he can be very selective with respect to movie roles. Maybe upon further reflection, I will come around and see that this could very easily work; that is if the rumors are substatiated. Like I said above, this will be a “watch and see.”

One thing is for certain, a whole lot of talent in being thrown at this “Christopher Nolan-is-involved” production.

 

3. And Finally …

In the most far afield casting news I have heard, Jennifer Garner has been hired as Miss Marple. Of course this is being posited as a re-imaging of what has traditionally be an aged and prim Agatha Christie sleuth.  According to TotalFilm.com, with casting Garner in the title role, Disney is hoping to provide a modern take on the much loved (and frequently adapted if only for television) mystery franchise. It is early days but I have so many questions out of the gate – Will she be British? Will her name still be Marple? What other modern “touches” can we expect?

 

That’s me, now it is your turn; let me know what you think.