Netflix announces original TV series based on Salman Rushdie's 'Midnight's Children'

Salman Rushdie's 'Midnight's Children', considered to be one of the greatest works of fiction, will be adapted into a TV series by Netflix


                            Netflix announces original TV series based on Salman Rushdie's 'Midnight's Children'
Salman Rushdie (Source: Getty Images)

Netflix has announced that it will be adapting Salman Rushdie's 'Midnight's Children' into a television series. The novel is considered one of the greatest works of fiction dealing with India's transition from a British colony to an independent nation. The partition of British India saw the nation split into two — India and Pakistan. 

Considered an example of postcolonial, postmodern, magical realist literature, the novel is narrated from the perspective of Saleem Sinai, one of the famed 'midnight's children' who was born at the exact moment when India became an independent country. He, along with thousands of others born between the stroke of midnight and 1 am, find themselves imbued with special powers and gifts. 

Rushdie says he's 'absolutely delighted' that his novel will get a new life on Netflix (Source: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet)

Saleem also realizes that his actions are bound to those of the country, and that his health and well-being suffer when the nation does. Using his telepathic powers, he assembled a 'Midnight Children's Conference' reflective of the issues India faced during its early statehood concerning the 'cultural, linguistic, religious, and political differences faced by a vastly diverse nation,' and eventually, writes the chronicle that encompasses both his personal history and that of his nation.

Erik Barmack, vice president of international originals for Netflix, expressed his excitement at the platform's latest venture. "’Midnight’s Children’ is one of the great novels of the world, and its themes are still relevant to the India of today," he said.

"The narrative continues to fascinate audiences decades after it was first published. We are incredibly excited to translate this pioneering work of fiction that parallels the birth of modern India, for a global audience. The rich experience and talent of Indian creators combined with the global reach of Netflix have the potential for millions of more people around the world to rediscover this story."

Rushdie expressed a similar sentiment about the project, saying: "I am absolutely delighted that 'Midnight’s Children' will have a new life on Netflix, and greatly look forward to working with them to help create it." 

'Midnight's Children' has won both the Booker Prize and James Tait Black Memorial Prize which, along with the Hawthornden Prize, is Britain's oldest literary award, and was awarded the 'Booker of Bookers' Prize and the best all-time prize winners in 1993 and 2008 to celebrate the Booker Prize's 25th and 40th anniversary.

After BBC's plan to film a five-part mini-series of the novel in the 1990s was scrapped due to pressure from the Muslim community in Sri Lanka, it would be another decade before Director Deepa Mehta collaborated with Rushdie for a movie adaptation of the book. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Vancouver International Film Festival in 2012 to mixed reviews.