The limited series, currently in early development at the streamer, will be written and executive-produced by actress/writer Zoe Kazan. (Her grandfather Elia Kazan directed the original 1955 film version.) Based on the John Steinbeck novel, East of Eden follows several generations of the Trask family — and the movie version gave a young James Dean his first major screen role. Pugh will play Cathy Ames, the role played by Jo Van Fleet in the film.
“I fell in love with East of Eden when I first read it, in my teens,” Zoe Kazan said in a statement. “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, Cathy Ames. Florence Pugh is our dream Cathy; I can’t imagine a more thrilling actor to bring this character to life.”
Pugh is best known to Marvel fans as sister Yelena Belova in last year’s Black Widow, a role she reprised in the Disney+ series Hawkeye. Her other film credits include Midsommar and Little Women, which earned Pugh an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress. She also costarred with Alexander Skarsgard in the AMC spy thriller The Little Drummer Girl.