East of Eden had been in development at Universal since 2004, after the book surged in popularity when Oprah Winfrey made it the first title of her book club. Tom Hooper (The King's Speech) had been set to direct in 2009, although the rights to the book lapsed and the project never got off the ground.
Recently, the studio and producer Brian Grazer put together a new deal, attaching Gary Ross to direct and Jennifer Lawrence to star. The director reportedly wants the actress to play Cathy Ames, an estranged wife and mother of two boys who compete for their father's attention. The novel was previously adapted into director Elia Kazan's 1955 film East of Eden, which starred James Dean in his feature debut.
Paul Attanasio wrote the East of Eden script, but it isn't known if the studio plans on bringing another writer in, or if the director will work with the writer on this current draft.
Burial Rites is based on the Hannah West novel about a young Icelandic woman who is accused of murder in 1829. The story is set between the murder and the trial, as prosecutors press for a public execution. Jennifer Lawrence will play the accused murderer.
No production schedule was given for either project.