Bollywood director Vishal Bharadwaj has been picked as the showrunner for Netflix’s upcoming series Midnight’s Children based on Salman Rushdie’s 1981 novel of the same name. Bharadwaj will also serve as an executive producer on the project.
We're excited to announce that @VishalBhardwaj will be the showrunner for Midnight's Children, the series, which will stream exclusively on Netflix.
— Netflix India (@NetflixIndia) November 28, 2018
Bharadwaj, famous for his Indian adaptations of Shakespearean classics like Macbeth, Othello and Hamlet has donned many hats during his 23-year long career in Hindi film industry. He is a lyricist, music director, singer, writer, producer and director. The director has won nine National Awards and People’s Choice Award at the Rome Film Festival for his 2014 movie Haider.
About his selection as the showrunner for the series, Simran Sethi, director of international originals for Netflix, was quoted in the Hollywood Reporter as saying “The scope and scale of Midnight’s Children can only be translated by a creator with an expansive vision, depth of storytelling, and a nuanced knowledge of bringing characters to life. We couldn’t have imagined anyone other than Vishal Bhardwaj as the showrunner on this series and are honoured that he will steer the project.”
Vishal Bharadwaj, in his response, said “The opportunity to translate one of the greatest works of literature in a medium that is accessible to millions of people around the world is incredible, and I’m delighted to partner with Netflix in bringing Midnight’s Children to life onscreen. I’m confident that taking this quintessentially Indian epic that transcends generations and genres, combined with the production values and creative freedom that Netflix offers, will contribute to an unforgettable series that is Indian at heart and global in reach.”
The director had cited interest in making a web-series at the Film Bazaar Knowledge Session held last week by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) owing to the freedom the medium offered. “It offers creative freedom for a director. I love cinema. But these series offer really something unique. In films, at the editing level, we have to let go of many nuances. The small characters you don’t concentrate on. Series gives you that liberty and freedom,” said Bharadwaj according to a FirstPost article.
He also slammed the censor board and termed them ‘deaf’. “Did they listen to us when they put the ‘no smoking’ ticker on a running visual? Do they hear us even now? They (censor board) are deaf. They do whatever they want to do. We are the only nation in this world that has ‘no smoking’ on a running visual. How more ridiculous can it be?”