On Wednesday, streaming giant Netflix announced that they have roped in Indian filmmaker and music director Vishal Bharadwaj as the showrunner for their adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children. Rushdie’s multi-award winning novel will be turned into a web series with Bharadwaj handling all the creative decisions for the show. He is also the executive producer for the Netflix series. 

 

This is certainly not the first time the filmmaker will be part of a screen adaptation of literary classics. Bharadwaj is known for his unique take on Shakespeare with his films like Haider (Hamlet), Omkara (Othello) and Maqbool (Macbeth). His film Haider, starring Shahid Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor, was critically acclaimed and won multiple awards including People’s Choice award at the Rome Film Festival.

 

Salman Rushdie

 

On speaking about his first project with the streaming platform, Bharadwaj said, “The opportunity to translate one of the greatest works of literature in a medium that is accessible to millions of people around the world is incredible, and I’m delighted to partner with Netflix in bringing Midnight’s Children to life on screen. I’m confident that taking this quintessentially Indian epic that transcends generations and genres, combined with the production values and creative freedom that Netflix offers, will contribute to an unforgettable series that is Indian at heart and global in reach.”  

Simran Sethi, Director-Creative International Originals for Netflix explained why Bharadwaj was chosen to be part of this series. “The scope and scale of Midnight’s Children can only be translated by a creator with an expansive vision, depth of storytelling, and a nuanced knowledge of bringing characters to life.  We couldn’t have imagined anyone other than Vishal Bhardwaj as the showrunner on this series and are honoured that he will steer the project,” she said.

Rushdie’s 1981 novel Midnight’s Children revolves around the life of  Saleem Sinai, who was born on the stroke of midnight on Aug. 15, 1947, the same time as when India attained it’s independence. His every action is mirrored and magnified in events that affect the course of India’s national affairs. Sinai gains telepathic powers that link him with 1,000 other children who were all born in that magical hour and garnered powers. 

The 1981 Random House published book has many awards to its name like including the 1981 Booker Prize, the Best of the Booker twice – both in 1993 and 2008, and the James Tait Memorial Prize.

 

Picture Credits – Wikipedia

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