Netflix announced this week that the platform has acquired the rights to turn Nobel-prizewinning author Gabriel García Márquez’s 1967 novel, Cien Años de Soledad into a series. The platform made the announcement on Twitter along with a short video that hints at the lush, magical realism of the late author’s novel, a narrative that follows seven generations of the Buendía who hail from the fictitious town of Macondo, proudly noting that this is the “first and only time in more than 50 years that his family has allowed the project to be adapted for the screen.”
According to a statement released by Rodrigo García, one of García Márquez’s sons, he wanted his novel to be adapted to the screen in his native language, as “producing it in a language other than Spanish would not do it justice.” We’re hoping it will be released in its original, Spanish-language title rather than as One Hundred Years of Solitude. Márquez also was wary of how his work, whose narrative is far from linear, would translate to the screen. “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,” he said. García and his brother Gonzalo García Barcha have signed an as executive producers of the series.
Set to be filmed mostly in Colombia, Cien Años de Soledad will be Netflix’s latest Spanish-language production, following the success and popularity of Roma and the platform’s Narcos series. “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,” Netflix’s Vice President of Spanish-language originals told Variety Magazine.
Márquez’s novel Love in the Time of Cholera was made into a Hollywood feature film over a decade ago, but failed to do the work justice; Stephen Holden of the New York Times described it as “emotionally and spiritually anemic, it slides into the void between art and entertainment, where well-intended would-be screen epics often land with a thud.”
Márquez was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1982 “for his novels and short stories, in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent’s life and conflicts.” Márquez passed away in 2014 at his home in Mexico City.