'One Hundred Years of Solitude' Netflix Series is First Adaptation of Landmark Novel

The cover for "One Hundred Years of Solitude," soon to be a Netflix Original Series. Harper Perennial Modern Classic

Netflix will turn Gabriel García Márquez novel One Hundred Years of Solitude into a limited series, the first time the landmark novel has been adapted for the screen.

The new adaptation, which Netflix announced Wednesday, will be executive produced by the novelist's sons, Gonzalo and Rodrigo García. García Márquez had many offers to adapt the novel during his lifetime, but was concerned that One Hundred Years of Solitude would not translate well to screen, especially within the confines of a movie. García Márquez was also determined that any adaptation of One Hundred Years of Solitude be produced in Spanish, which the Netflix series will be.

"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 that seems to be a problem that is no longer a problem," Garcia said in the Netflix announcement.

One Hundred Years of Solitude is a tricky adaptation because of the astonishing breadth of its narrative. Rather than following a handful of characters, One Hundred Years of Solitude is about the grand sweep of history, following multiple generations of the Buendia family—beginning with the founding of the fictional town of Macondo by family patriarch José Arcadio Buendia—over a century. Along the way they encounter civil wars, the coming of the railroads and seemingly divine interventions, all spread over seven generations.

"I've been hearing the discussion about whether or not to sell the rights to One Hundred Years of Solitude since I was eight," Garcia said. "It was not an uncomplicated decision to make, for myself and my brother and my mom."

The new deal isn't the first time Netflix has tried to acquire rights to the landmark novel, but recent Spanish-language successes like Narcos and Roma have demonstrated the streaming service's ability to, according to Netflix's vice president for Spanish language Originals, "make Spanish-language content for the world."

Originally published in 1967, Márquez's novel is, according to UNESCO, the third most translated Spanish-language book and the foundational text of magical realism, a genre marked by both its modernity and fabulism, portraying seemingly real-world events intersecting with the profoundly paranormal or allegorical.

One Hundred Years of Solitude on Netflix doesn't yet have a release date. It will be set and filmed in Colombia.