Casting Call: The Grapes of Wrath

Published July 25, 2013

In which we suggest who should star in the next big adaptation, remake, or historical film.

Economic hardship, devastating unemployment numbers, an unpredictable climate, American farmers struggling to compete with big business—all sound familiar? While it may read like recent news headlines across the United States, it’s actually the plot of John Steinbeck’s 1939 novel, The Grapes of Wrath, which remains relevant almost 75 years after its publication. Set during the Great Depression, the novel chronicles the journey of the Joad family, who are forced to leave their farm in Oklahoma, which was destroyed by the Dust Bowl, and head West to California in search of a better life. It’s the quintessential American story of perseverance; of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and not letting oppression make you feel oppressed.

For a story so beloved by Americans, the modern-day film adaptation may rightly fall into the directorial hands of Steven Spielberg, who’s reportedly considering the film rights along with DreamWorks. The original 1940 film version, which was directed by John Ford and starred Henry Fonda, was a hit and won Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress and Best Director. While history seems to be repeating itself with regard to the novel’s plot, the film adaptation is much in need of a modern update. Here are our picks for The Grapes of Wrath main characters.  

Casting Call runs every Friday. For more, click here.