Sal Gabi Universe Disney
Photo: Disney Hyperion
News and Entertainment

Eva Longoria Developing Sci-Fi Series Based on Book Inspired by Cuban Mythology

Eva Longoria‘s UnbeliEVAble Entertainment just added another Latinx show to their roster following the announcement that she’s working on a series for ABC about a large Mexican-American family in Texas. The multi-generational comedy is about an upper-middle-class family handling grief, identity and a reevaluation of their roles after the death of their patriarch, Deadline reported. Her latest project is developing Carlos Hernandez’s award-winning book Sal & Gabi Break the Universe published in 2019. The book draws from Cuban mythology and was published by Disney-Hyperion and is being developed by Disney Branded Television for either the Disney Channel or Disney+.

The magical story revolves around teenager Sal Vidón who discovers he can reach into time and space to retrieve things from other universes from a chicken for a prank to potentially deceased mother. He befriends Gabi after she discovers his ability and they set off on a quest to find and bring back his mom but realize the consequences can put their entire universe at risk.

The middle-grade book is a 2020 Pura Belpré Author Award Winner and is part of an anthology that includes Sal & Gabi Fix the Universe. Writer/producer Nelson Soler (Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists) is attached to the project. Hernandez, who is Cuban-American, previously talked about how his roots influenced the writing of the book.

“The Cuban-American experience is an interesting one in the United States, because of all the Latinx groups, the Cuban experience is the most privileged. There was a time right up until the end of the Obama administration when, if you were coming from the island of Cuba and you put one foot on American soil, you were invited into the country,” he told Publisher’s Weekly. “That created a way for Cuban immigrants to gain a foothold unavailable to most other groups. Miami, where this is set, is a place where they’ve had agency and opportunity and the ability to start businesses. It’s almost like an alternate reality Cuba if it hadn’t been devastated by economic and political policy over the years. It’s basically the Cuban identity in two parallel universes, which feeds into the multiversal aspect of this series.”

This comes after news that Longoria is making her film directing debut with Flamin‘ Hot about Richard Montañez, the man who was credited with inventing Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. She’s also directing the series The Gordita Chronicles for HBO Max. Her projects are clearly centered on amplifying Latinx stories and her work behind the scenes as a director/producer is a sign of progress considering Latinx directors made up just 4 percent and producers just 3 percent in Hollywood, according to a USC study.

Sal & Gabi Break the Universe is still in development and there’s no word on the cast yet.