‘Atonement’ Writer Goes ‘East Of Eden’ For New Adaptation Of Steinbeck Novel

F. Scott Fitzgerald is experiencing a revival in Hollywood — can John Steinbeck be far behind? Variety reports that “East of Eden” is getting a new adaptation (let’s not call it a remake, even if the first did star James Dean) that will be directed by Tom Hooper (“John Adams”). Christopher Hampton (“Atonement”) will pen the script.

Originally published in 1952, it’s one of Steinbeck’s most sweeping and ambitious novels. Set in California’s Salinas Valley, it’s a multi-generational story of two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons, and the intertwining of their lives. But the main focus is on twin brothers, Aaron and Caleb, and their difficult relationship and rivalry that mirrors a certain Genesis story you might know.

“Eden” has bounced around Hollywood for a few years now, and enjoying a renaissance with modern readers thanks to Oprah Winfrey making it the first selection of her revived book club. Ron Howard was set to direct, with Paul Attanasio writing the script, but Howard recently dropped the project from his upcoming slate.

Hooper, who’s winning awards and acclaim for his “John Adams” miniseries, has stepped in to replace him. A fan of the book since his teenage years, Hooper is hoping to bring a fresh take to the story, and stay faithful in a way that the 1955 film could not.

“There is an opportunity to show the sex, violence and darkness of Steinbeck’s work,” he said, “along with the optimism and celebration of love.” The film set to go into production later this year.

Are there any Steinbeck fans among MTV readers who are eager to see a new adaptation? Or is the James Dean version too etched in your brains? Sound off below!