Salman Rushdie’s magical realist opus Midnight’s Children is set to be adapted into a TV series by Netflix.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a show based on the British Indian’s novel about India’s journey from colonial British rule to independence is the latest example of Netflix’s attempts to expand their audience in Asia.
Midnight’s Children is centred around Saleem Sinai, an Indian who was born at exactly 12am on the day India achieved its independence, and whose acts are mirrored in events that sway the course of the country’s national affairs. He is one of 1,000 “midnight’s children”, whose health and wellbeing are inextricably linked with that of his home country.
“Midnight’s Children is one of the great novels of the world, and its themes are still relevant to the India of today,” vice president of international originals at Netflix, Erik Barmack, 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.”
Rushdie’s novel won the Booker prize when it was released in 1981, and is widely considered his masterpiece. In 2012 it was adapted into a feature film by Indian-Canadian director Deepa Metha, with Rushdie penning the script.
Rushdie famously incurred the wrath of Ayatollah Khomeini and many Muslims with the publication of his novel The Satanic Verses in the late 1980s. He had a fatwa (death sentence) on his head that was backed by the Iranian government between 1989-1998, which led Rushdie to go into hiding. He poked fun at this, rather bravely, in the most recent series of Curb Your Enthusiasm, in which Larry David’s protagonist winds up with a fatwa for writing a musical based on Rushdie’s life.