Netflix’s recent announcement that it had acquired the rights for the first screen adaptation of “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” the classic novel by Gabriel García Márquez, has provoked an international controversy. Is it acceptable to adapt a work that its author, who died in 2014, did not want to take to the big screen?
Other classics, from “The Odyssey” to “Hamlet” to “War and Peace,” have been brought to film and television with varying degrees of success. Like them, “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” published in 1967, has a life that extends beyond the printed page. It has inspired songs and ballets, an opera and a play, dozens of paintings, an exclusive Japanese drink, and even the name of an offshore oil platform. Now its time has come for a screen adaptation. The author’s children, Gonzalo, a graphic designer and editor, and Rodrigo, a film and TV director, will be the executive producers of the Netflix series.
Netflix, with its nearly 140 million subscribers, leads many of these changes. Therefore, the most important debate is not to speculate on the quality of the future “One Hundred Years of Solitude”series or its faithfulness to the novel, but to analyze how the global distribution of the series in more than 190 countries can give new life to the stories of Macondo and the Buendía family. The success of the “Narcos”series and the feature film “Roma” prove that there is a market hungry for stories based in Latin America.