Critically-acclaimed Chilean author Isabel Allende has long been considered not only one of the most beloved Latina writers, but one of the most influential fiction writers, period. So the news that streaming service Hulu is adapting The House of the Spirits — one of Allende's most popular novels — into a series was met with widespread elation. According to an article on Deadline, Hulu is in the early stages of development on the series, with Allende herself tapped to produce. The House of the Spirits was first published in 1982, to immediate critical acclaim, and has since become a classic in Latinx literature and beyond.
The story follows the lives of three generations of the Trueba family, weaving a luminous tapestry of both triumphs and tragedies. There is patriarch Esteban, whose wild desires and political machinations are tempered only by his love for his ethereal wife, Clara, a woman touched by an otherworldly hand. There is their daughter, Blanca, who has fallen in forbidden love with a man that Esteban has deemed unworthy, infuriating him despite the fact that Bianca is his greatest joy. Then there is Esteban's granddaughter Alba, a beautiful, ambitious girl who will lead the family and their country into a revolutionary future.
The House of the Spirits is an enthralling saga that spans decades of their lives, entwining the personal and political into an epic tale of love, magic and fate — which means it was basically destined for the small screen treatment. In a time when Hulu is not only bringing huge book adaptations like The Handmaid's Tale and Little Fires Everywhere to the masses, garnering awards and becoming pop culture phenomenons — and Latinx Americans and immigrants in the U.S. continue to deal with the painful aftermath of Trump's inauguration and subsequent anti-Latinx policies — I can't think of a more perfect time for Allende's work to be celebrated and brought to a new generation of online TV binge-watchers.
While there is no word yet on when the series will premiere, or who will be tapped to write, direct and star, here's hoping that Hulu will take special care to hire a creative team and cast that is decidedly more Latinx than the 1993 film version's — directed by Danish filmmaker Bille August, it starred Jeremy Irons as Esteban, Meryl Streep as Clara, and Winona Ryder as Blanca. I hope Gina Rodriguez's phone is ringing as we speak.