Netflix, Forest Whitaker Team On Adaptation Of Newbery-Winning Novel ‘Hello, Universe’

EXCLUSIVE: Netflix will adapt Erin Entrada Kelly’s Newbery Award winning novel Hello, Universe, into a family film. Playwright and screenwriter Michael Golamco (Always Be My Maybe) will adapt the book and Forest Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi (Fruitvale Station, Roxanne Roxanne) of Significant Productions will produce.

The book starts with a rough premise: When a bully’s antics land a timid boy in the bottom of a well, his self-proclaimed psychic friend and unknowing crush team up to find him. The novel is a funny, poignant neighborhood story about unexpected friendships. Told from four intertwining points of view — two boys and two girls — the novel celebrates bravery, being different, and finding your inner bayani (hero). It was published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books, and won the 2018 Newbery.

This adds to Netflix’s growing live action family film slate, which includes the Nzingha Stewart-directed comedy Tall Girl, which was scripted by Sam Wolfson and produced by Wonderland’s McG, Mary Viola, and Corey Marsh. Also on the movie slate is A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting, directed by Rachel Talalay, based on author Joe Ballarini’s novel.

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