Eva Longoria Is Developing ‘Paola Santiago and the River of Tears’ Live-Action Series

Paola Santiago and the River of Tears

Disney Branded Television is adding new titles to its slate of original programming for kids, tweens, teens, and families across Disney+ and Disney Channels, and among them is a live-action series based on Tehlor Kay Mejia’s critically-acclaimed novel, Paola Santiago and the River of Tears.

The Disney+ original series, from 20th Television, is in development, with Eva Longoria and Ben Spector for UnbeliEVAble Entertainment, Kevin Rodriguez, and Mejia set to executive produce. Rodriguez is also set to write the fantasy/adventure television series.

The story is inspired by the legend of La Llorona (the Weeping Woman). It “introduces a teen girl, Paola Santiago, who has always relied on hard science and logic to make sense of the world, unlike her mother, who believes in magic,” according to the synopsis. “But folklore becomes fact when Paola’s best friend goes missing, and to save her, Paola has to enter a world of mind-bending monsters and relentless spirits steeped in Latin folklore that defy both logic and legend.”

Paola Santiago and the River of Tears was published by Disney-Hyperion under the Rick Riordan Presents imprint.

“With each one of these projects, we see an opportunity to build upon the strong foundation of storytelling that is a hallmark of the Disney brand,” Disney Branded Television President Ayo Davis said in a statement while discussing the new titles. “I am so proud to be working with some of the most creative and diverse talent in the industry, both in front of and behind the camera, to bring these fresh, inventive and impactful stories — new and reimagined — to life for our audiences to enjoy, regardless of platform.”

Other projects in development include the animated Tiny Trailblazers for Disney Junior and Superfudge for Disney+. The former highlights the importance of environmental conservation and wildlife protection. Reese Witherspoon serves as an executive producer and voices one of the characters. The original movie for the streaming service is based on Judy Blume’s best-selling book and comes from Joe and Anthony Russo of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.