There are Hunger Games reunions, and then there are Hunger Games reunions. Last week we reported actress Jennifer Lawrece had joined an adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel East of Eden that will be helmed by Hunger Games director Gary Ross. Today, Deadline is reporting that a package for the film adaptation of Hannah Kent’s debut novel Burial Rites which includes both Lawrence and Ross is currently in the process of being acquired by Lionsgate, the production company and distributor behind the Hunger Games franchise. The deal is expected to be finalized sometime this week.
Burial Rites is an inspired-by-a-true story piece of period fiction set in Iceland in 1829. It follows a young woman (to be played by Lawrence) as she awaits execution for her part in the murder of two men. She’s interned at a farm owned by a district official while she awaits the execution, and, while struggling to relate to the farmers’ family, is befriended by a priest from the town. Historically speaking, the woman, Agnes Magnusdottir, and her accomplice were the last two people to receive capital punishment in Iceland.
Both East of Eden and Burial Rites continue what seems to be Lawrence preference in projects: interspersing big studio projects like X-Men and Hunger Games with smaller, independent pictures such as Winter’s Bone and Silver Linings Playbook. It’s a pattern that will be showing itself all over again in the coming months, as both The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and American Hustle, director David O. Russell’s followup to Silver Linings Playbook, are due in theaters before the end of the year.