Representation in Hollywood for Latinxs remains low but we’re seeing progress and among those exciting projects is the film adaption of Lilliam Rivera‘s 2019 novel Never Look Back. The story is a modern retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, a tale of enduring love amid death. It centers Eury who is coping with the effects of Hurricane Maria — plus an evil spirit named Ato — and Pheus, who shares her love of bachata. Eury tries to overcome her trauma while exploring the effects of colonialism and generational trauma. Deadline reported that the film will feature a soundtrack with bachata, reggaeton, salsa, and hip-hop and a mix of fantasy, horror, and romance genres. King of Bachata singer/songwriter Romeo Santos, who is of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent, is not only executive producing the film, he’s also one of the music supervisors and will also record original music for the film.
“Ok i am freaking out cuz it feels real. I’m so happy that this Latinx crew has come together to make NEVER LOOK BACK. It’s been such an amazing journey to be a part of this. I’m so happy. Let’s go!!! NEVER LOOK BACK!” Rivera tweeted following the announcement.
Ok i am freaking out cuz it feels real. I’m so happy that this Latinx crew has come together to make NEVER LOOK BACK. It’s been such an amazing journey to be a part of this. I’m so happy. Let’s go!!! NEVER LOOK BACK! https://t.co/3DdEifM1Ip
— Lilliam Rivera (@lilliamr) April 13, 2022
Bronx-born Latina television and theater director Zetna Fuentes (Jane the Virgin, Ray Donovan) is helming the film with Talia Rothenberg, a Jewish Boricua writer, is adapting the screenplay. Santos and Artie Pabon will serve as executive producers and music supervisors through Santos’ Chimbi Productions, Deadline reported.
Rivera is an award-winning writer whose other titles include young adult novels Dealing in Dreams, We Light Up The Sky, and The Education of Margot Sanchez. Never Look Back is informed by the Rivera’s experience as a Boricua from the Bronx. Rivera told World Literature Today that she was personally affected by Hurricane Maria and decided to focus on the love story when writing Never Look Back.
“It was literally because I needed to write toward hope; I needed to write toward love. I used that structure and the Orpheus myth to help me keep it in one stop, so I wouldn’t veer into anything else. I used love because I needed love, and I’m sure everybody needs love.”
Bilingual production company 3Pas Studios, co-founded by Eugenio Derbez and Ben Odell, is producing the film and no cast has been revealed just yet. The film is still in pre-production and no release date was announced but it already sounds like it’s going to be fire.