New Line acquired the rights to Nobel Prize-winner Gabriel García Márquez's Love in the Time of Cholera about a year and a half ago, and their adaptation is already getting underway. The screenplay is being written by Ronald Harwood, who gave us both Being Julia and The Pianist, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire helmer Mike Newell is set to direct. Boy, do they seem like an odd pair.

The novel is a sprawling story of 50 years of love (and that's a pathetically simplistic summary) told mostly in flashback. The male half of the love story is "Florentino Ariza, more antihero than hero, a mock Don Juan with an undertaker's demeanor, at once pathetic, grotesque and endearing," and New Line have signed the wonderful Javier Bardem to play the role. While it's way too early to know how this is going to turn out, the fact that New Line cast an actor with incredible skill and an interesting face rather than some mainstream Hollywood flavor of the month like, say, Orlando Bloom or Colin Farrell, is both a huge relief and a very good sign.

[via Dark Horizons]