Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 June 2019

Netflix is turning Gabriel Garcia Marquez's 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' into a series

The Colombian author's seminal novel has never previously been adapted for the screen

Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' in 1967. AP
Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' in 1967. AP

It is considered Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s magnum opus, and now One Hundred Years of Solitude is set to reach a whole new audience. The 1967 novel, which weaves together the stories of seven generations of one family, is to become a Netflix series after the streaming giant acquired the rights to the magical realism masterpiece.

Colombian novelist Marquez, who died in 2014 aged 87, had previously voiced concerns about whether his sprawling tale, set in the fictional town of Macondo, could work as a film. However, the Spanish-language series, which is set to be filmed primarily in Colombia, will be overseen by the author's sons, Rodrigo Garcia and Gonzalo Garcia Barcha, who will act as executive producers on the project.

“For decades our father was reluctant to sell the film rights to One Hundred Years of Solitude 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," Rodrigo Garcia 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 programmes in foreign languages, the time could not be better.”

Indeed, it will be interesting to see how Netflix turns the vast novel, which spans an entire century, into a digestible piece of television viewing.

One Hundred Years of Solitude, which has sold an estimated 50 million copies worldwide, orbits around the Buendia family. Beginning with patriarch Jose, and his wife, Ursula, the family are forced to flee their hometown after an act of violence, leading the couple to found their isolated "utopia" of Macondo.

The novel by Nobel Prize-winning author Marquez goes on to explore the family's subsequent branches as they continue to grow, with members frequently blighted by misfortune as the town becomes more exposed to the modern world.

Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, pictured in 2007, may be best known for his novel 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' in 1967, but he was also an accomplished journalist. AFP
Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, pictured in 2007, won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. AFP

Announcing the adaptation, Francisco Ramos, Netflix’s vice-president of Spanish-language originals, said: “We are incredibly honoured 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.

“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.”

No date has yet been given for the Netflix series to premiere, or for filming to begin. The adaptation follows Mike Newell's 2007 take on Marquez's 1985 book Love in the Time of Cholera, and a 2009 big-screen version of the writer's Of Love and Other Demons. Marquez's novella Chronicle of a Death Foretold was also reimagined as a film in 1987.

Updated: March 7, 2019 01:14 PM