By Nick Romano
March 06, 2019 at 10:03 AM EST
Harper Perennial Modern Classics

More than 50 years after Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez published One Hundred Years of Solitude, the literary masterpiece is coming to the screen for the first time.

Netflix announced Wednesday that the company acquired the rights to the 1967 novel and will adapt it as a new Netflix Spanish original series with Márquez’s sons Rodrigo Garcia and Gonzalo García Barcha serving as executive producers.

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

One Hundred Years of Solitude, about the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family, sold an estimated 50 million copies since it was initially published.

According to The New York Times,  Márquez, who died at 87 in 2014, received many offers over the years to develop this for the screen, but without a firm commitment to make a Spanish-language adaptation, many of these were considered “non-starters.”

Netflix, with a subscriber base reaching international audiences, found success in Spanish-language works, including Narcos (featuring both English and Spanish) and the now-Oscar-winning film Roma. Elite, the Spanish teen soap, garnered more than 20 million account views worldwide within its first four weeks on the platform. (More on how Netflix determines viewing metrics here.) More recently, the company released Siempre Bruja, about a witch traveling through time to modern-day Colombia.

“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,” Francisco Ramos, Vice President of Spanish Language Originals for Netflix, said. “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.”

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