Netflix to Adapt Gabriel Garcia Marquez's 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' for TV

Gabriel Garcia Marquez in 2006 - H Getty 2019
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The classic novel will be turned into a Spanish-language original series for the streaming giant.

Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s signature novel One Hundred Years of Solitude is headed to Netflix.

The video streaming giant has acquired the rights to develop the literary classic, first published in 1967, as a Spanish-language TV series. Garcia Marquez’s sons Rodrigo Garcia and Gonzalo Garcia Barcha will executive produce the series, to be shot in Colombia.

"For decades our father was reluctant to sell the film rights to Cien Anos 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,” said Garcia in a statement.

The Colombian writer's other novels like Chronicles of a Death Foretold and Love in a Time of Cholera were adapted as movies or TV series, but Marquez never allowed the rights to One Hundred Years of Solitude to be optioned as he couldn't see how a novel about the Buendia family told over many generations could be adapted for the big or small screen.

Alvaro Santana-Acuna, assistant professor of sociology at Whitman College in Washington State, who is writing a book on One Hundred Years of Solitude, told THR that major Hollywood studios early on came knocking for the adaptation rights to the classic novel, especially after the Colombian writer won the Nobel Prize in 1982.

But Marquez resisted, on creative grounds, while welcoming adaptations of his other novels. "García Marquez was concerned that an adaptation for the screen would reduce the reader's creativity, as they would imagine characters, events, and places in a more personal way (reading the novel) than when presented on the screen," Santana-Acuna explained.

Garcia insisted the talent in writing and direction required to turn his father's novel into a TV series was now at hand. "We are excited to support Netflix and the filmmakers in this venture, and eager to see the final product," Garcia added.

Francisco Ramos, vp of Spanish language originals for Netflix, added in his own statement: “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."

Just over a half century since Garcia Marquez's novel was published, it has sold an estimated 47 million copies, been translated into 46 languages and become a classic of Latin American literature.

On the Spanish language front, Netflix is also producing a school-set drama, El Desorden que Dejas, by the co-creator of hit Netflix series Elite, the movie thriller Hogar and an animated Christmas family comedy Klaus, from director Sergio Pablos.

Netflix has also launched a production hub in Madrid, Spain, which is set to be unveiled April 4.

Attorney Shelley Surpin and the Agencia Literaria Carmen Balcells represented Gabriel Garcia Marquez's estate in the deal.