Margaret Atwood’s bestselling dystopian classic and favorite of feminists everywhere, The Handmaid’s Tale, is getting its own straight-to-series drama on Hulu next year. Hulu has commissioned 10 episodes, in which Golden Globe winning Elisabeth Moss (known for Mad Men and Top of the Lake) will star as Offred, the protagonist. If you haven’t read the book yet, you should certainly take this opportunity to do so. Margaret Atwood herself will be present as a consulting producer; Bruce Miller of The 100 is listed as a creator, writer, and executive producer; and the rest of the executive producers are Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears, and Warren Littlefield.
In case you’re not familiar with the premise, Gilead (formerly part of the U.S.) is now ruled by a totalitarian theocracy that has stripped women of all rights. Offred is a Handmaid to the Commander of the new regime, and valued only for her ability to reproduce; that is her sole function, as women are becoming less fertile due to environmental pollution and birth rates are plummeting. She once had a family of her own, but that was before the U.S. was overthrown. Now, she’ll do anything to survive this new world and find her daughter.
This brilliant work of speculative fiction was published in 1985, but is more relevant today as it ever was, so this feels like fantastic timing. It won the first Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1987, which is a British Award given for the best science fiction novel, and was rather poorly adapted into a film in 1990. Hopefully, this miniseries is far more successful than the movie, because The Handmaid’s Tale deserves nothing less than the best treatment.Buy the book here.
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