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Vishal Bhardwaj named as showrunner of Netflix series on Midnight’s Children


The series will be based on the popular, but lengthy, 1981 novel by author Salman Rushdie.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Sonal Pandya

Pataakha (2018) director Vishal Bhardwaj is heading to the small screen. The filmmaker has been named as a showrunner and executive producer on Netflix's upcoming adaptation of Midnight’s Children.

Salman Rushdie's novel on India's independence had won the Booker Prize in 1981. The New York Review of Books had anointed it as "one of the most important books to come out of the English-speaking world in this generation".

The novel tells the story of Saleem Sinai, a child born on the very same moment that India received its independence from Britain on August 15, 1947. His life mirrors that of his nation and Rushdie also follows other thousand midnight's children who are endowed with magical powers like Sinai.

In a statement to Deadline.com, Bhardwaj 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."

The series, which has yet to announce a cast, will stream exclusively on Netflix worldwide. In 2012, filmmaker Deepa Mehta had adapted the novel for the big screen; Rushdie wrote the screenplay.

In Mehta's adaptation, Satya Bhabha played Saleem Sinai. Shriya Saran, Anupam Kher, Shabana Azmi, Seema Biswas, Rahul Bose, and Ranvir Shorey were all part of the cast too. The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.