Netflix to adapt One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

Streaming giant buys rights to create first ever screen adaptation of Colombian author’s seminal 1967 magical realist novel

Netflix has acquired the rights to Gabriel García Márquez’s seminal One Hundred Years of Solitude to create the first screen adaptation of the author’s 1967 masterpiece.

The streaming company announced on Wednesday that the book will be adapted into a Spanish-language series and filmed largely in the Nobel prize-winning author’s home country of Colombia, with García Márquez’s sons, Rodrigo García and Gonzalo García Barcha, serving as executive producers.

Acquiring rights to adapt One Hundred Years of Solitude has been a hard-fought contest. García said that his father was sceptical of the sprawling magical realist novel’s capacity to fit within a traditional film structure, and wanted the story to be told in Spanish.

“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,” García 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.”

One Hundred Years of Solitude follows the Buendía dynasty, founders of the rural and isolated town of Macondo, and fuses fantastical and allegorical elements such as rains of yellow flowers, alchemy and religious apparitions, with realism, history and literary pastiche. It became a defining work of magical realism and one of the most celebrated Latin American novels of the 20th century, having sold an estimated 47m copies and been translated into 46 languages.

Netflix has recently seen significant success with Spanish-language originals, such as the Oscar-winning film, Roma, and the Pablo Escobar series, Narcos.

One Hundred Years of Solitude will not be the first García Márquez work to be adapted for the screen. The author’s 1985 novel Love in the Time of Cholera was adapted for film in 2007, directed by Mike Newell and starring Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Javier Bardem and Benjamin Bratt. The 1981 novella, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, has been adapted for both film and Broadway musical.

García Márquez won the Nobel prize for literature in 1982. He died in 2014.

Guardian staff and AP

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