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Olga Dies Dreaming - What We Know So Far

Books are turned into TV shows on a daily basis, but it's much more rare for a book to get a TV adaptation before it even goes to print. Nonetheless, that's the case with "Olga Dies Dreaming." The upcoming Hulu drama is based on Xochitl Gonzalez's upcoming novel of the same name. The story follows Olga, a Nuyorican wedding planner in New York City "whose surface successes mask a darker interior."

"Olga Dies Dreaming" is both Gonzalez's debut novel as well as a deeply personal one. Prior to receiving her MFA in creative writing from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Gonzalez worked for about 15 years as an entrepreneur and strategic consultant in New York City, according to her author website. Those experiences no doubt informed her portrayal of Olga, a character caught between two worlds. For anyone interested in shows that explore the Latinx identity in 2021 America, "Olga Dies Dreaming" is looking like it's going to be a must-watch. 

Here's everything we know about Hulu's upcoming series.

What is the release date for Olga Dies Dreaming?

It's still much too early for Hulu to announce a release date for "Olga Dies Dreaming." As mentioned above, the book it will be based on doesn't even debut until early 2022. As reported by Deadline, Hulu first greenlit the series back on April 29, 2021. And "Olga Dies Dreaming" just got its first major casting announcement — see more on that below — so it will probably be some time before filming can even get started.

For comparison, "Nine Perfect Strangers" is another upcoming Hulu series based on a book, Liane Moriarty's 2018 novel by the same name. Filming for "Nine Perfect Strangers" wrapped in December 2020 and the show premieres Aug. 18, 2021 (via Hulu on YouTube). Given that timeline, and the fact that "Olga Dies Dreaming" has yet to start shooting, the earliest we can expect the series would be August 2022, if everything goes perfectly right, between regular production, COVID-19, and so on. But once filming begins we should have a clearer idea of the premiere date. 

Who is in the cast of Olga Dies Dreaming?

So far, the only announced cast member is Aubrey Plaza, who's previously starred in TV series like "Parks and Recreation," where she played April, her brilliant villain turn in "Legion," and a recent fan-favorite role in the 2020 romantic comedy "Happiest Season." Plaza will be playing the main character, Olga. Variety describes Olga as being someone for whom "the pursuit of perfection has become a compulsive survival mechanism as she tries to climb as far from her past as she can." As a character, Olga finds herself straddling two different worlds: the elites of New York City's upper crust, and the neighborhood of Sunset Park, Brooklyn where she grew up. 

The other main characters are Olga's brother Prieto, a Congressman representing their neighborhood, and their mother Blanca, a militant activist who was mostly absent during their childhoods. The casting for these roles hasn't yet been announced. There's also Matteo, Olga's new love interest who forces her to confront her family secrets. 

Otherwise, any other major characters will most likely be more clear once the book is released in January 2022. 

What is the plot of Olga Dies Dreaming?

Again, the book itself hasn't yet been released, so the plot of the TV adaptation is still mostly unknown. But based on previews and excerpts we can get a basic sense of what the story is about. The book takes place in 2017 and follows Olga and Prieto, two Latinx siblings from Puerto Rico who live in Brooklyn, in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. The story begins when their mother Blanca, a member of the Young Lords Puerto Rican activist group, returns to their lives for a reunion. That forces them to confront some uncomfortable truths about their pasts and their present situations. And it all takes place in the days leading up to Hurricane Maria, the once-in-a-century storm that caused an estimated $94 billion in damage to Puerto Rico (via Mercy Corps).

Xochitl Gonzalez's novel of the same name goes on sale Jan. 6, 2022. In the meantime, watch this space for more updates when they arrive.