Hello, Universe: Forest Whitaker & Netflix collaborating on film adaptation
Variety is reporting that Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) and Netflix are developing a live-action Hello, Universe feature adaptation, based on Erin Entrada Kelly’s 2018 Newberry Award-winning and bestselling novel. The book was published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books, in March 2017.
Hello, Universe centers on a bully’s antics landing a timid boy in the bottom of a well, leading to his self-proclaimed psychic friend and unknowing crush teaming up to find him. The story is told from four intertwining points of view — two boys and two girls.
Michael Golamco (Always Be My Maybe) will write the screenplay with Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi (Fruitvale Station) of Significant Productions serving as producers. Whitaker’s previous producing credits include Fruitvale Station, Roxanne Roxanne, Godfather of Harlem, and Sorry to Bother You. In 2007, Whitaker won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Lead Role for his part in The Last King of Scotland.
Whitaker can next be seen this fall on the streaming screen in the upcoming Godfather of Harlem Epix TV series, which recounts the true story of infamous crime boss Bumpy Johnson (Whitaker), who in the early 1960s returned from a decade in prison to find the neighborhood he once ruled in shambled. His upcoming projects also include Jingle Jangle and A Fall From Grace.
Netflix’s slate of kids, teens, and made for family live-action movies included the upcoming comedy Tall Girl, directed by Nzingha Stewart, written by Sam Wolfson, and produced by McG, as well as A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting, based on the novel by Joe Ballarini and directed by Rachel Talalay.