Variety reports that Tom Hooper, the director of HBO's "John Adams," will direct the film that resets the biblical Cain and Able tale in northern California in the first half of the 20th century. The film is aiming to begin production later this year. "There is an opportunity to show the sex, violence and darkness of Steinbeck's work, along with the optimism and celebration of love," Hooper told Variety.
"East of Eden" was first adapted for film in 1955 under the direction of Elia Kazan, starring James Dean and Julie Harris.
Hampton earned an Academy Award for the screenplay to the 1988 film "Dangerous Liaisons." He has also penned the screenplays for "Atonement," "Mary Reilly" and "The Quiet American." He earned 1995 Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical and Best Score (he an Don Black wrote the lyrics to Andrew Lloyd Webber's music) for Sunset Boulevard. His play The Philanthropist will be revived on Broadway by the Roundabout Theatre Company this spring starring Matthew Broderick.