Acclaimed Indian filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj (Haider) has been tapped as showrunner and executive producer on Midnight’s Children, Netflix’s upcoming series based on Salman Rushdie’s seminal novel.
Midnight’s Children 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; his life is inseparable, at times indistinguishable, from the history of his country. Perhaps most remarkable are the telepathic powers linking him with India’s 1,000 other “midnight’s children,” all born in that initial hour and endowed with magical gifts.
The book, published by Random House in 1981, is a literary tour de force that has won 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 critically acclaimed and hugely successful novel is considered by some to be amongst the 100 best novels of all time by the Modern Library. It is considered a groundbreaking example of postcolonial, postmodern and magic realist literature. The series will launch exclusively on Netflix worldwide.
Bhardwaj’s work spans direction, screenwriting, production and music across genres in Hindi cinema. He has adapted several global pieces of literature for the screen, including Macbeth (Hindi film Maqbool), Othello (Omkara), Hamlet (Haider), and The Blue Umbrella. He is the recipient of seven prestigious National Film Awards in India. His adaptation of Hamlet, Haider (2014) won the People’s Choice award at the Rome Film Festival. He’s repped by UTA.
“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,” said Simran Sethi, Director-Creative International Originals for Netflix. “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.”
“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,” said Bhardwaj. “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.”