Gabriel García Márquez's treasured novel One Hundred Years of Solitude is finally being adapted to series, five years after the Nobel Prize-winning author's death.
Netflix announced Wednesday that it has secured the rights to adapt Márquez's masterpiece — which he'd famously prevented from getting the screen treatment for the rest of his life — after the streaming service struck a deal with his sons, Rodrigo García and Gonzalo García Barcha, who will serve as executive producers on the adaptation.
In a statement, the pair explained their decision to grant Netflix the rights to a series, saying that the landscape of modern entertainment is more equipped now to do their father's story justice.
"For decades our father was reluctant to sell the film rights to Cien Años de Soledad because he believed that it could not be made under the time constraints of a feature film, or that producing it in a language other than Spanish would not do it justice," they said. "But in the current golden age of series, with the level of talented writing and directing, the cinematic quality of content, and the acceptance by worldwide audiences of programs in foreign languages, the time could not be better to bring an adaptation to the extraordinary global viewership that Netflix provides. We are excited to support Netflix and the filmmakers in this venture, and eager to see the final product."
Indeed, Gabriel García Márquez had previously shared his fears that a cinematic adaptation of One Hundred Years of Solitude might forever change the impact of his narrative. "They would cast someone like Robert Redford and most of us do not have relatives who look like Robert Redford," he once explained.
In 1982, the author turned down a lucrative adaptation offer and said, "My reticence to make movies out of One Hundred Years of Solitude and, in general, all my published works is due to my desire for direct communication with my readers. By means of the letters I write they can imagine the characters to be as they wish, and not as the borrowed face of an actor."
One Hundred Years of Solitude was first published in 1967, and the novel has since become a revered classic. The story centers on the Buendía family in the fictional town of Macondo, Colombia, as they exist in isolation from the rest of the world but become exposed to some of the less fortunate experiences of the outside world — including famine, war, political chaos, and more. Most importantly, there is an inevitability to their eventual fortune, a prophecy, that looms over their family for generations. Márquez's writing is so rich and colorful that it does, indeed, create a strong mental image, as he hoped.
Netflix's Vice President of Spanish Language Originals Francisco Ramos said in a statement that he understands the significance of the family's decision to put the novel in their hands. "We are incredibly honored to be entrusted with the first filmed adaptation of One Hundred Years of Solitude, a timeless and iconic story from Latin America that we are thrilled to share with the world," he said. "We know our members around the world love watching Spanish-language films and series and we feel this will be a perfect match of project and our platform." The series is expected to be filmed primarily in Colombia.
Several of Márquez's other noteworthy novels, including Love in the Time of Cholera, Of Love and Other Demons, and No One Writes to the Colonel were previously adapted to screen, but this will mark the first time One Hundred Years of Solitude has been touched.