John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath has already spawned one Oscar-winning film back in 1940 when John Ford’s production starring Henry Fonda picking up two golden statuettes. But the latest filmmaker interested in adapting the story of Tom Joad and his family is also no stranger to the Academy.
Two-time Oscar-winner Steven Spielberg has been linked with a remake of the 1939 novel, although he will not take on a directing role. Instead he is expected to act as producer after Dreamworks opened talks with the author’s estate to agree a deal over film rights, reports Deadline.
Next year marks the 75th anniversary of the book which follows the Joad family as they are forced to up sticks from their native drought-ridden Oklahoma, heading for California and the promise of higher wages for farm workers. But as they hit the road they become overwhelmed by the hunger and poverty that characterised America’s Great Depression resulting in devastating repercussions for members of the family.
Spielberg and Dreamworks were not the only party interested in adapting the much-loved story in its anniversary year, with Robert Redford’s Sundance label also rumoured to have expressed interest in turning The Grapes of Wrath into a mini-series. However it looks like Spielberg is the one to win over the Steinbeck estate.