Dreamworks enters talks with the estate of author John Steinbeck to obtain the feature rights, and prepares it as Spielberg's next producing gig.
There might be a new adaptation being developed at Dreamworks. Deadline learns that the studio, which recently nabbed the film rights to Francesca Haig's "The Fire Sermon", is now at the negotiating table with author John Steinback's estate to acquire rights to "The Grapes of Wrath", which was already adapted into a 1940 movie by director John Ford.
The site additionally reports that "E.T." director Steven Spielberg is interested in producing the new version for Dreamworks, but not eyeing it as his potential directing gig. Spielberg himself is already attached to "American Sniper", which stars Bradley Cooper and is slated to be released in 2015.
The book, for which Steinback won Pulitzer Prize, tells a story of the Joads, a poor family of tenant farmers driven from their Oklahoma home by drought, economic hardship and changes in financial and agricultural industries. Spurred by the promise of high wages for farm workers, the Joads head to California, but are beaten down by poverty and hunger in the Great Depression.
Henry Fonda was introduced as the leading man in the classic feature. His strong performance as Tom Joad earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
If the remake is eventually confirmed in the works at Dreamworks, it will be Spielberg's next commitment as a producer after "The Hundred-Foot Journey", which will be headlined by Helen Mirren.