Though Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie’s Booker-winning 1981 novel has been called “unfilmable,” the author has recently hatched a new plan to change that.

According to The Guardian, he will work with Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta to co-write a film adaptation for a movie that is expected to begin production in 2010. Mehta will direct.

With its bravura mix of historical events and inventive flights of fancy, the 650-page novel has long been seen as unfilmable.

Reached at home in Toronto, Mehta rejected any such concerns. “If I was doing it myself it would be rather daunting,” she said. “The fact that we like and respect each other is a good foundation for collaboration.”

The pair will begin writing the screen adaptation in mid-March, with Rushdie 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.

The Guardian calls Midnight’s Children a “panoramic 1981 allegory of the birth of modern India.” The book has twice been named the Best of the Booker: in 1993 at the time of the Booker Prize’s 25th anniversary and again earlier this year as the prize — now known as the Man-Booker — turned 40.

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