Filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj has been announced as the showrunner of Netflix's "Midnight's Children" series, based on author Salman Rushdie's classic novel. Bhardwaj, best known for adapting famous William Shakespeare plays into films such as "Maqbool", "Omkara" and "Haider", will also executive produce the new series, the streaming giant said in a statement.
The novel, released in 1981, is considered Rushdie's magnum opus and won him multiple accolades, including the 1981 Booker Prize, the Best of the Booker twice - both in 1993 and 2008, and the James Tait Memorial Prize. "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," Bhardwaj said.
"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," he added.
The novel follows the life of Saleem Sinai, born on the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the time of India's independence. His every act is mirrored and magnified in events that sway the course of India's national affairs; his health and well-being are inextricably bound to those of his nation. He also possesses telepathic powers that link him with India's 1,000 other "midnight's children", all born in that initial hour and endowed with magical gifts.
"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," Simran Sethi, director-creative international Originals for Netflix, said.
The novel was also adapted as film in 2013 by Indo-Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta with Rushdie writing the screenplay. However, like the book, the film was not as successful.
(With PTI inputs)