Florence Pugh will join the cast of the new Netflix limited series East of Eden as Cathy Ames, the antiheroine of John Steinbeck’s seminal 1952 novel. Deadline also reported that Zoe Kazan will serve as the writer and executive producer on the project. Pugh will also co-produce.
East of Eden takes place in California’s Salinas Valley, a region known for its farming and agriculture. The story begins prior to World War One, but the novel skips around the timeline and makes a jump all the way back to the Civil War. East of Eden follows several generations of the Trask and Hamilton families as they navigate trauma, love, betrayal, destiny and duty.
Kazan has close personal ties to the project; her grandfather Elia Kazan directed the original film for Warner Bros. in 1955. East of Eden will be Kazan’s first major TV writing project, though she’s no stranger to writing. She wrote screenplays for two feature films, Sparks and Wildlife; 2018’s Wildlife was directed by Paul Dano and starred Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan. Kazan is also an actor and will appear in the upcoming 2022 film She Said about the origins of the #MeToo movement.
"I fell in love with East of Eden when I first read it, in my teens," Kazan said. "Since then, adapting Steinbeck’s novel — the great, sprawling, three-generational entirety of it — has been my dream. More than anything, I have wanted to give full expression to the novel’s astonishing, singular antiheroine, Cathay Ames. Florence Pugh is our dream Cathy; I can’t imagine a more thrilling actor to bring this character to life."
Pugh is widely known for her role as assassin Yelena Belova in 2021’s Black Widow movie and Hawkeye limited series on Disney Plus. Now that Yelena has been established as the heir apparent to Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), Pugh will no doubt have a busy Marvel schedule ahead but that’s not stopping her from taking on a multitude of other projects.
She was recently announced as part of the upcoming Dune: Part 2 cast, starring alongside Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya. She’ll also appear in the upcoming Don’t Worry Darling with Harry Styles and Chris Pine, along with The Wonder, A Good Person and Christopher Nolan’s upcoming Oppenheimer, slated for a July 2023 release.
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Sarabeth joined the What to Watch team in May 2022. An avid TV and movie fan, her perennial favorites are The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, true crime documentaries on Netflix and anything from Passionflix. You’ve Got Mail, Ocean's Eleven and Signs are movies that she can watch all day long. She's also a huge baseball fan, and hockey is a new favorite.
When she's not working, Sarabeth hosts the My Nights Are Booked Podcast and a blog dedicated to books and interviews with authors and actors. She also published her first novel, Once Upon an Interview, in 2022.