Adapting a classic work of literature – especially one that has already been done before – is a daunting task to begin with, but we’ve been impressed by the way that online streaming service Hulu has quietly gone about compiling a cast for its adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale. As if to emphasise this, it has just gone and added another decent actor in the form of Orange Is The New Black star Samira Wiley.
Following on from playing Poussey Washington in Netflix’s acclaimed series, she will switch Litchfield Penitentiary for Gilead, a dystopian future United States that has fallen under control of a movement called the Sons of Jacob, which quickly suspends civil liberties and effectively turns women into second-class citizens. To this end, some women – known as handmaidens – are forced to become sex slaves, with the ultimate goal of repopulating the planet. Wiley is down to play Moira, on such ‘handmaid’ and a close friend of protagonist Offred, played by Mad Men‘s Elisabeth Moss.
As big Orange Is The New Black fans, we’re definitely delighted with this casting. Wiley stands out among what is already a very strong ensemble cast, and it’s good to see her getting another stage on which to showcase her obvious talent, especially with such meaty source material to work with. Her role was originally played by Elizabeth McGovern in Volker Schlöndorff’s 1990 movie (also starring Natasha Richardson, Faye Dunaway and Robert Duvall), so she has big shoes to fill.
Wiley joins a cast that already includes Elisabeth Moss, Max Minghella and Ann Dowd. Reed Morano is directing from a script penned by Ilene Chaiken and Bruce Miller.
The Handmaid’s Tale will air on Hulu in the US in 2017, with a UK air date and channel to be announced. For all the latest movie news, pick up the new issue of SciFiNow.