Iconic Chilean author Isabel Allende released The House of the Spirits in 1982 and since then it’s been translated into over 20 languages and become a fixture on lists dedicated to the best books of all time. Now it’s getting a television adaptation with Eva Longoria confirmed to be part of the cast, Deadline reported. Longoria will play Blanca Trueba, the eldest daughter of Clara and Esteban who has a passionate love affair that endures through trials and tribulations. The novel spans four generations of women in the Trueba family during post-colonial social and political upheavals inspired by real-life people and events in Chile, told with elements of magical realism. Francisca Alegría and Fernanda Urrejola are writing the adaptation with Alegría also directing. The novel was previously adapted into a film in 1993 starring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons, featuring a mostly non-Latinx cast so we’re excited to see a team of Latinas behind this project.
“It’s truly an honor to bring one of Isabel Allende’s iconic works to the screen for audiences worldwide alongside FilmNation, Francisca, and Fernanda,” Longoria said in a statement. “This is a story rich in themes of family, love, and magic. I am excited to show the world the beauty, creativity, and masterclass talent that our community continues to produce.”
Alegría’s 2017 short film And All the Sky Fit in the Dead Cow’s Eye won Best International Short Award at Sundance. The short film by the Chilean filmmaker was recently turned into a feature film, The Cow Who Sang a Song About the Future. Urrejola is a Chilean actress who was recently in the Netflix film, Blue Miracle.
“It’s an honor to be adapting Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits. I am a devout admirer of her work and her as an artist, and this novel is such a fundamental piece of Latin American culture. Isabel was ahead of her time, just like the female protagonists of the story, and I feel that today, 40 years later, we can actually understand and integrate the deeply complex threads of their powerful lineage,” Alegría said in a statement. “Fernanda and I are beyond excited to be developing this series with our wonderful producers at FilmNation and to have the exceptional Eva Longoria starring as Blanca.”
Allende is regarded as one of the most widely read Spanish-language author with 25 books, including her recent The Soul of a Woman, and 70 million copies sold worldwide. The House of the Spirits was her first novel written as she learned that her elderly grandfather was dying. Though it was originally rejected by publishers, it was published in Argentina and became an instant bestseller and remains one of her best-known and critically acclaimed books.