Midnight's Children Headed to the Silver Screen
Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie's panoramic 1981 allegory of the birth of modern India, is heading for the big screen. Deepa Mehta is to direct and co-write the adaptation with the author, and the film is expected to start production in 2010, it was announced in New York yesterday.
Mr. Rushdie's novel, which has been selected twice as the best-ever Booker prize winner, is widely regarded as one of the premier literary works of the latter half of the 20th century and is required reading on most university syllabuses. Often associated with another masterpiece of magic realism, Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, the story begins with the birth of Saleem Sinai at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the moment India became independent. Far from a picturesque Everyman, Saleem discovers he shares special powers with every other person born in the same hour and comes to see himself as the incarnation of India, an avatar of the nation. With its bravura mix of historical events and inventive flights of fancy, the 650-page novel has long been seen as unfilmable.
Writing of the screen adaptation will reportedly begin in mid-March, with the author and Mehta's partner, David Hamilton, acting as co-producers. Hamilton said he had had preliminary discussions with two Hollywood studios, both of which were keen to see the fruits of the Rushdie-Mehta pairing. But, he added, the script would dictate the ultimate response.
I can't even begin to imagine how they're going to translate the story into a screenplay. But I will certainly be avidly awaiting to see what they come up with.