Magical Realism Classic “The House of The Spirits” By Isabel Allende Is Getting A TV Adaptation Starring Eva Longoria
Magical realism is one of those subgenres that has become increasingly popular over the years. It’s an area that straddles the fine line between ‘genre’ fiction and ‘literary’ fiction. One of the pioneers of the magical realism genre is author Isabel Allende, who wrote The House of the Spirits in 1982. Now over 30 years later, The House of the Spirits is making its way to television in a brand new adaptation starring Eva Longoria.
An Epic Family Saga That Reflects Chilean History
Image via Simon & Schuster
The House of the Spirits is an epic family saga that spans generations. It also tells the history of Chile in the mid-20th century. With all of the political strife and upheavals that affect the character’s journeys. The titular house of the spirits is the home of the Trueba family. Whose characters are deeply informed by mysticism and elements of the supernatural.
A synopsis from Simon & Schuster tells us the following about this classic work of magical realism.
“The House of the Spirits brings to life the triumphs and tragedies of three generations of the Trueba family. The patriarch Esteban is a volatile, proud man. His voracious pursuit of political power is tempered only by his love for his delicate wife Clara – a woman with a mystical connection to the spirit world. When their daughter Blanca embarks on a forbidden love affair in defiance of her implacable father, the result is an unexpected gift to Esteban: his adored granddaughter Alba, a beautiful and strong-willed child who will lead her family and her country into a revolutionary future.”
A Powerful Trio Of Women Will Bring The House of the Spirits To Life
Eva Longoria in Telenovela | Image via NBC
Actress Eva Longoria will play the role of Alba in The House of the Spirits. She is the the passionate and bold woman who also represents the future of the Trueba family. Longoria has spent much of her career working to promote work by Latin-American creators. In a statement, Longoria said that “it’s truly an honor to bring one of Isabel Allende’s iconic works to the screen for audiences worldwide. 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.”
The plot of The House of the Spirits often focuses on the patriarchal figure who leads the family. However, it is the women who truly take center stage as the story unfolds. And that is also reflected in the two women who are tasked with bringing this novel to life for television. Francisca Alegría and Fernanda Urrejola are writing the adaptation, and Alegría will also direct the series.
“It’s an honor to be adapting Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits,” says Francisca Alegría. “I am a devout admirer of her work and her as an artist. 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.”
A New Adaptation That Should Be More Authentic To The Source Material
Image via Miramax
The House of the Spirits has seen adaptation before in the early 90’s with a film starring Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons, Winona Ryder, and Glenn Close. (The only Latin-American actor in that adaptation was Antonio Banderas). This time around, it looks like the story will stick closer to the source material. We are bound to see a more authentic story adaptation of this classic with two Chilean women at the helm in Urrejola and Alegría.
It looks like this adaptation is still in the early stages of development. No other cast has been announced yet. Nor do we know what network or streaming service The House of the Spirits will head to. But we will certainly be keeping a close eye on this project as it develops. To stay up to date on all of the latest genre news, be sure to follow Comic Years on Facebook and Twitter today.
Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.