In their quest to take over the world, Netflix earlier this year announced that they’ll be putting out more than 700 original TV shows in 2018. And they’re backing up that incredible figure with a eye-bulging spend of around $8billion.
And the latest feather that they’re adding to their already well-feathered cap is a fascinating new series based on the novel Midnight’s Children by Sir Salman Rushdie.
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If you’re not familiar with Rushdie, in which case I’d highly recommend that you venture out from under your rock once in a while, the author is one of the most controversial writers to have ever put pen to paper.
His fourth novel The Satanic Verses, published in 1988, was inspired in part by the life of Muhammad. It caused such a controversy in the Muslim world that a fatwa was issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, calling for his assassination. For decades, the writer was kept under strict police protection by the British government.
Midnight’s Children (1981), on the other hand, “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,” according to a synopsis from the streaming service.
The story bears many similarities to Rushdie’s own life; he too was born in Bombay, then British India, in 1947. He went on to study at King’s College, University of Cambridge, where he read history and now holds British and American citizenship.
This isn’t the first time the novel has been adapted, though. It was turned into a film in 2012, directed by Indian-Canadian director Deepa Mehta.
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Sir Salman Rushdie said of the upcoming TV project: “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.”
Erik Barmack, VP of International Originals at Netflix, added, “Midnight’s Children is one of the great novels of the world, and its themes are still relevant to the India of today. 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.”