Who would have the chops and the clout to tackle a book whose previous cinematic adaptation scored seven Oscar nominations and won two for no lesser a director than John Ford? Why, that would be Steven Spielberg, who has grabbed the rights to a new take on John Steinbeck’s The Grapes Of Wrath.
According to Deadline, while Spielberg had been considering taking on this ambitious project himself, he’s now planning to simply produce the film with DreamWorks.
Someone else will be stepping up to actually make the film, which follows the poor Joad family of farmers, who are forced to leave their Oklahoma plot because of drought and biting economic hardship. Hearing of opportunities for farm work in California, they head there, lured by the promise of higher wages. But poverty and hunger eventually grind them down.
With the 75th anniversary of the book’s publication looming next year, there was a lot of interest in the project, with several companies and influential types chasing the rights. Spielberg won out over the likes of Robert Redford, who had been hoping to turn the tale into a miniseries. It remains to be seen exactly what Spielberg and his team do with the title, but keep eyes peeled for movement.