Netflix has announced series based on Gabriel García Márquez’s famous novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. The novel was published in 1967 and has never been adapted for screen. However, it is not the first time someone has tried. Márquez’s son, Rodrigo García, admitted that his father had received several offers, all of which he turned down. “I’ve been hearing the discussion about whether or not to sell the rights to ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ since I was 8,” García admitted. “It was not an uncomplicated decision to make, for myself and my brother and my mom. It feels like a great chapter opened, but also a long chapter has closed.”
One of the main reasons was that it would not fit well into a single film. This was the crux of the decision to make the adaptation into a series rather than a film. “In the last three or four years, the level and prestige and success of series and limited series has grown so much,” García explained.
Netflix has acquired the rights to Gabriel García Márquez’s masterpiece “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and will adapt it into a series. This marks the first and only time in more than 50 years that his family has allowed the project to be adapted for the screen. pic.twitter.com/HUX1miRAJs
— See What's Next (@seewhatsnext) March 6, 2019
Another issue was the fact that Márquez wanted to keep his film in Spanish. For this reason, Francisco Ramos, Netflix’s VP for Spanish language originals, attempted to gain the rights to have the series filmed in Spanish, claiming that “we can make Spanish-language content for the world.” Although he argued that popular series like Narcos and films like Roma were able to break the mold, he was still met with much resistance. According to García, “Netflix was among the first to prove that people are more willing than ever to see series that are produced in foreign languages with subtitles. All that seems to be a problem that is no longer a problem.”
One Hundred Years of Solitude follows the Buendía family, whose father, José Arcadio Buendía, began a town in Columbia called Macondo. This fictitious town is full of magical realism, a genre in Latin American Literature that was popular in the 60’s and 70’s. The story is something that, according to Ramos, “shaped us as a continent through dictatorships, through births of new countries, through colonialism.” Nevertheless, the story transcends Columbia and has a broader reach. “We know it’s going to be very magical and very important for Colombians and Latin America, but the novel is universal,” Ramos added.
García expressed his enthusiasm concerning the project in a statement: “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.”
Ramos matched this enthusiasm, stating that: “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. 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.”
Although the cast has not yet been set, Netflix has already committed to shooting in Columbia and casting Latin Americans. Rodrigo García and Gonzalo García Barcha, García Márquez’s sons, will both executive produce.