Netflix has ordered a new original series based on Salman Rushdie's 1981 novel Midnight's Children, which deals with India's transition from British colonialism to independence. The book is considered an example of postcolonial, postmodern, and magic realist literature.
Midnight’s Children follows the life of Saleem Sinai, born on the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the exact time of India’s independence. He later discovers he has telepathic powers, shared with those that were born between midnight and 1am on Independence Day, about a thousand others. These children are known as "midnight's children".
"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," the official description from Netflix concludes.
“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," Rushdie said in a statement. The 71-year-old author was born in Mumbai (then Bombay), and Midnight's Children – which won the Booker Prize in 1981 – is usually considered his best work. His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, remains banned in India and other countries with large Muslim populations.
“Midnight’s Children is one of the great novels of the world, and its themes are still relevant to the India of today," said Erik Barmack, Netflix's vice president of international originals. "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.”
This isn't the first time Midnight's Children will be translated for the screen. Rushdie wrote the screenplay for director Deepa Mehta's 2012 film adaptation of the same name, starring Satya Bhabha, Shriya Saran, Seema Biswas, Shabana Azmi, Anupam Jher, Rahul Bose, Soha Ali Khan, and Darsheel Safary among others.