Why Vishal Bhardwaj’s Midnight’s Children Series Didn’t Take Off

The adaptation was to be a multi-part series for Netflix.

2 min read
Vishal Bhardwaj had planned on making an adaptation of <i>Midnight’s Children</i>.

Vishal Bhardwaj’s ambitious adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children into a multi-part series for Netflix hit an unexpected roadblock and the project never took off. Netflix had approached Bhardwaj as the director of the show in 2018.

Now, the filmmaker told HuffPost India that the streaming giant could not agree on the budget Bhardwaj needed. “I had been working on the screenplay for over a year, had scouted locations and was close to finalising the script. However, the series I had envisioned required an enormous amount of money, given the special effects and VFX,” he told the website.

Vishal Bhardwaj also said that the failure of Rangoon, his 2017 World War 2 drama that starred Saif Ali Khan, Kangana Ranaut and Shahid Kapoor, made him determined to not compromise on VFX for his subsequent films.

Rangoon taught me not to make the same mistake with Midnight’s Children. If I had gotten away with the bad VFX of Rangoon, I would have made the same mistake in Midnight’s Children, and that would have been worse given how special the book is,” Bhardwaj said, adding that India needs to up its VFX game.

He also explained that Netflix respected his vision but said that the scale in which he had envisaged the series wouldn’t be possible to achieve. “I have a special connection with Netflix, so I didn’t want to go to any other platform. Maybe I can team up with them a few years later.”

Vishal Bhardwaj told HuffPost India that Salman Rushdie himself was very excited about the project and he gave his inputs.

Sources told the website that the difference between what was needed versus what Netflix could actually sanction was nearly Rs 7 crore per episode. In response, the streaming platform said that Midnight’s Children could not be materialised in the scale and manner it deserved.

(Inputs: HuffPost India)

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