Fil-Am novel “Hello, Universe” is getting a Netflix film and we’re stoked

We’re always on board for Filipino-made content.

Hello, Universe, a children’s novel written by Filipino-American Erin Entrada Kelly, just got picked up by Netflix for a live-action adaptation.

The 320-page children’s book is centered around Virgil Salinas, an 11-year-old Filipino-American. While rescuing his pet guinea pig, Virgil has a run-in with a bully and finds himself trapped in a well. His friends Kaori, Gen and Valencia then go on a quest to find him. The story unravels from the kids’ four different perspectives.

Erin frequently incorporates Filipino themes into her work, and Hello, Universe is no exception. “The producers, screenwriter [who is Filipino-American Michael Golamco], and Netflix are dedicated to maintaining the diversity of the novel, including—but certainly not limited to—the Filipino elements,” Erin says. The creators all know that proper representation is important with roles like the character Valencia, who is deaf. No whitewashing and ableism here, folks.

As for the release, there’s no dates yet since the creators are still in the early stages of developing the script. But judging by the team, which also includes Forest Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi of Fruitvale Station, it looks like the story is in good hands.

Before this, Erin had already made history with this novel by being the first Filipina-American to win the prestigious John Newbery Award, the highest award for children’s books. Now that’s the kind of flex we respect.

Photo from Philly.com

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Giselle Barrientos
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