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“I actually could not put the book down. It is well written and kept my interest. I want more from this author.”
Reader review of Maximilian and Carlotta Are Dead on Amazon.com 

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

One Hundred Years of Waiting?

If you go into Netflix and look up Title No. 81087583, you come across something that makes people like me very excited. It is a series called Cien años de soledad. We are informed that it is an adaptation of the masterwork by Colombian Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez, which is being executive-produced by his sons Rodrigo and Gonzalo. If you click the “Remind Me” button, you are assured that it will appear in your Netflix List when it becomes available.

There is no further information as to when that might happen. The IMDb lists it as being in pre-production. There is precious little other information, and its page has not been updated since last March. We can only continue to wait and wonder.

There was a flurry of excitement in the media last March when Netflix announced it had acquired the rights to the 1967 novel. The New York Times noted that it would be the first time that One Hundred Years of Solitude would be adapted for the screen. Technically, that is correct, although in 1983 Ruy Guerra made a lovely film called Eréndira that was adapted from a 1972 short story by García Márquez called “La increíble y triste historia de la cándida Eréndira y de su abuela desalmada” (“The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and her Heartless Grandmother”). In the film version, the Brazilian actor Cláudia Ohana played Eréndira, and the Greek actor Irene Papas played the grandmother. Both those characters had previously appeared briefly in One Hundred Years of Solitude, so in a convoluted, round-about way, a piece of that great book has sort of already found its way to the screen.

Other works by García Márquez have been adapted to the screen, notably Mike Newell’s 2007 film, Love in the Time of Cholera, starring Benjamin Bratt and Javier Bardem.

According to the García boys (by way of that Times article), despite many entreaties to agree to adapting One Hundred Years, their father had serious reservations about whether the book would fit well into a movie—or even two. Moreover, he was committed to it being told in Spanish. Netflix solves both those problems. As a series, the adaptation can run as many hours as the filmmakers think is needed. Moreover, the beauty of the Netflix platform is that you can watch things with audio in any language you want and with subtitles (if you want them) in any language you want.

The way we now consume video entertainment has made it possible to produce all kinds of works that previously seemed problematic to adapt. Sometime in the next year, we can look forward to the prequel series to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings on Amazon Prime. Reportedly, two episodes are in the can with production scheduled to resume next month. A second season has already been approved.

How about my own trilogy? Of course, I can only dream about it becoming a series on Netflix or Amazon Prime. I still think the early adventures of Dallas Green are probably bettered suited to a low-budget independently-produced road movie. His later exploits, though, would require a fair amount of foreign location shooting.

Before there is any point of dreaming about any of that, I need to finish that third book. I still do not have a title, which is strange because I usually at least have a working title by this point. And I am still stuck at the one-third mark in the first draft—thanks to the holiday season and now the flu. The good news is that, if I am now well enough to blog, then it shouldn’t be long now until I am back hard at the novel.