Steven Spielberg is to produce a remake of The Grapes Of Wrath.

John Steinbeck's novel about a family of farmers evicted from their land in Oklahoma, who move to California in the hope of a new life, only to face further struggle in the Great Depression was made into a classic film in 1940, directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda.

Deadline reports that Dreamworks is in talks to buy the rights to the novel and wants to make a new big screen version.

The studio shot down rumours Spielberg is looking to direct the project, insisting he will just be a producer.

The hero of the novel Tom Joad, who is determined to find his family a better life, but eventually find himself defeated by poverty and starvation, has become a symbol of social reform in America.

Robert Redford was previously said to be interested in acquiring the rights to the book, through his Sundance label, in order to make a TV miniseries version for FX with Dark Shadows producer David Kennedy.