I’ll never forget the first time I read Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude for a Literature in Translation class. I didn’t appreciate the book enough at the time — magical realism wasn’t really my thing yet — but I was able to appreciate that it’s probably one of the best-written novels ever. There really isn’t anything else out there quite like it and it’s considered a masterpiece in Spanish language literature. García Márquez fans will be ecstatic to learn that the classic novel (originally published in 1967) is finally going to be adapted for the screen on Netflix!
When I first learned the news, I was actually surprised this hadn’t happened sooner. According to the NY Times, García Márquez’s son Rodrigo García confirmed that his father had received multiple offers to adopt the book into a movie. And don’t forget that one of his other popular novels, Love in the Time of Cholera, was adapted to film in a 2007 movie starring Javier Bardem. Apparently, the main concern García Márquez had with One Hundred Years of Solitude was that he didn’t believe it would fit well into a single movie and preferred a series format. Rodrigo García, who will be working as the executive producer on the Netflix film alongside his brother Gonzalo García, told the NY Times that his father also wanted the story to be told in Spanish.
The Colombian novelist died in 2014 at age 87 and the family has since had ownership over Gabriel García Márquez’ works. Fans worldwide have continued to enjoy his books and series on Netflix and other streaming platforms have been so successful, so the family was inspired to finally sell the development rights.
“In the last three or four years, the level and prestige and success of series and limited series has grown so much,” García told the NY Times. “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 of that seems to be a problem that is no longer a problem.”
Roma, written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón, was entirely in Spanish with English subtitles and proved to be a huge success on Netflix. The film won Oscars for best foreign language film, best cinematography, and best director. Series such as Cable Girls, Casa de las Flores, Narcos, and Club de Cuervos also showed that there is a large audience for Spanish-language series on the platform. This is not only proof that One Hundred Years of Solitude will most likely be a huge success, but also speaks to a shift that’s happened in our culture regarding Spanish-language content becoming mainstream.
Since Trump became president, there has been a lot more resistance towards the Latinx community and a lot more discrimination towards native Spanish speakers. To finally be able to create and consume more Spanish language content on a mainstream level is a massive win for us.
As far as casting or screenwriters for the series go, we still don’t know. There hasn’t been any confirmation on that just yet. No release date has been confirmed either since filming hasn’t even begun. What we do know is that Francisco Ramos, the vice president for Spanish language originals at Netflix confirmed with the NY Times that they only plan on casting the best Latin American talent. They also plan on shooting the series in Colombia — which is an important detail that most fans will appreciate.
I don’t know about you but I definitely plan on re-reading this masterpiece novel ASAP in preparation for when the series is finally out. Who is with me on that one?