In a move that instantly locks a top spot on my most anticipated series list, Hulu and MGM set the tremendously talented Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) to lead a straight-to-series adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale. Based on the beloved dystopian novel of the same name from speculative fiction icon Margaret Atwood, the series will star Moss as Offred, a Handmaid who is forced to bear children for the privileged elite of Gilead, a male-dominated totalitarian society that values females for their fertility alone.
Bruce Miller (The 100) will create, write and executive produce the series with Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears and Warren Littlefield serving as executive producers and Atwood herself on board as Consulting Producer. The first season of the planned ongoing series is scheduled to premiere on Hulu in 2017.
“I am thrilled that MGM and Hulu are developing The Handmaid’s Tale as a series, and extra thrilled that the very talented Elisabeth Moss will be playing the central character. The Handmaid’s Tale is more relevant now than when it was written, and I am sure the series will be watched with great interest. I have read the first two scripts and they are excellent; I can hardly wait to see the finished episodes,” said Atwood.
The Handmaid’s Tale is a formative piece of fiction in the dystopian genre that’s long overdue for a killer adaptation. And, as Atwood points out in her statement, it’s more relevant than ever in today’s political landscape where the governing of female bodies by male politicians is a constant source of conflict. With her work in Queen of Earth and Top of the Lake, Moss is exactly the caliber of actress needed to tackle the nuanced and complex role of Offred as she navigates the life-or-death stakes of the Gilead’s harsh fundamentalist regime. All things considered, especially the fact that Atwood is on board, I couldn’t be more excited for this one.
Here’s the official synopsis.
Adapted from Margaret Atwood’s influential and acclaimed novel, THE HANDMAID’S TALE is the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly part of the United States. Facing environmental disasters and a plunging birthrate, Gilead is ruled by a twisted religious fundamentalism that treats women as property of the state. As one of the few remaining fertile women, Offred is a Handmaid in the Commander’s household, one of the caste of women forced into sexual servitude as a last desperate attempt to repopulate a devastated world. In this terrifying society where one wrong word could end her life, Offred navigates between Commanders, their cruel Wives, domestic Marthas, and her fellow Handmaids – where anyone could be a spy for Gilead — all with one goal: to survive and find the daughter that was taken from her.