Oscar-nominated director Deepa Mehta says wrestling Salman Rushdie's novel Midnight's Children into a screenplay "was not such a difficult process."
The Indo-Canadian filmmaker, who earned an Oscar nomination for Water, says she enjoyed collaborating with the acclaimed writer on his 1981 masterpiece, even though it took about one year to fashion the allegorical tale into a film script.
Mehta says she's just begun editing the ambitious feature in Toronto and expects to have the movie ready early next year.
The sprawling cast includes veteran Indian actor Anupam Kher, who says he has long admired Mehta's work and predicts big things for her cinematic take on the Booker-winning novel.
Kher, 56, is in Toronto to attend the three-day International Indian Film Academy celebrations.
"'Midnight's Children is going to be a huge film," says Kher."It's an amazing bestselling book. I don't know how many million copies have been sold of Midnight's Children... and then to get it made by a director who is also well known in her own right... and she has got a fairly good cast in the film. So there is no way that this film is not going to be noticed by lots and lots and lots of people."
Mehta plans to spend the summer editing footage captured in Sri Lanka.
"It's going to take me the next four months (to edit) but this is a very crucial time," Mehta says.
The film is based on Rushdie's account of India's leap from colony to independence. Translating it to film was not as tough as one would think, Mehta says, adding that Rushdie's involvement made the experience fun.
"Luckily Salman wrote the script so it was not such a difficult process. I think both of us really enjoyed the process, in fact. It wasn't heartbreaking at all — it just was realizing that the book is a different animal and the film is an adaptation of it but is not necessarily a facsimile of it."
It helped, says Mehta, that they shared a vision for the tale.
"I think we were always on the same page and that was really good," she says.
"There were a few things that we had different opinions about, I don't even remember what they were but it couldn't have been very big."
Kher says his small role required only a few days on set but he fully expects to work with Mehta again some day.
"She can't make any other movie without me, now. I'm a bad habit as an actor," joked Kher, whose credits include more than 400 movies in the past 27 years. "I've admired her work and I'm a huge fan of hers."