Filipino-American Erin Entrada Kelly will have her novel 'Hello, Universe' adapted into a live-action family film on Netflix. Photo: Facebook, Wikimedia Commons

An award-winning Filipino-American author will have her novel adapted into a movie by Netflix.

Talks with Erin Entrada Kelly over her book Hello, Universe, which was published in 2017, to be adapted into a movie have been ongoing since last year. Kelly said Netflix was interested in adapting the novel and would team up with Forest Whitaker to produce a live-action family movie, Lifestyle Inquirer reported.

“It’s difficult to find words to describe how this feels. And this is just the beginning of the journey. It’s surreal,” Kelly said.

Hello, Universe is a story about friendship and adventure and has themes of Filipino culture. The book tells the story of a Filipino-American boy disappearing after falling into a well. The story celebrates bravery and finding your inner bayani, or hero.

“Filipino culture isn’t something that’s necessarily prevalent in western literature, especially for kids,” Kelly said. Kelly said developing the script is in the early stages. She said she wants to keep the elements of diversity, especially the Filipino elements, in the film.

“The producers, screenwriters and Netflix are maintaining the diversity of the novel. They’re not only incredibly talented, but they also understand the representation across all aspects of the book,” she said.

Kelly received the prestigious John Newbery Medal in 2018 for her novel. The award is the highest literary prize for books for young readers.

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