Universal Pictures and Hunger Games director Gary Ross, in their infinite wisdom, are remaking East Of Eden. You know, John Steinbeck’s 601 page re-telling of the story of Cain and Abel set in Salinas, CA. I wrinkle my nose in the general direction of this project for several reasons. First of all, there’s a perfectly fantastic film adaptation directed by Elia Kazan. I don’t think we need to touch it. I’m particularly f*cking adamant we don’t crap all over the only three films screen god James Dean ever made. There’s only three. Just don’t touch them. Leave them be.
Secondly, they’re splitting the film into two parts. Sure, that makes sense, given the length of the novel, but why not a make a smashing HBO mini-series instead? I can’t stand the Twilight-ening of all these book adaptations. Thirdly, they’ve cast Jennifer Lawrence as the mother. Nope, not the fresh-faced love interest. The mother. So J. Law is 23? How young are we going to go with these teenage leads? I guess it makes sense that Lawrence would want the far more interesting role of the dispassionate mother who leaves her children to become the madam of an infamous brothel that’s a hot bed of sexual sadism. That sounds like much meatier stuff for an Oscar-winner to chew on.
Here’s one bit of cold comfort. If 23 year-old Jennifer Lawrence is playing the mother, then there’s no way in hell 35 year-old James Franco is getting Dean’s part of Cal. And I bet he’s screaming into a pillow about it right at this very moment. And that’s pretty great.