Adapting genre classics seems to be a popular business at the moment. Recently, Arthur C Clarke’s Childhood’s End hit the small screen courtesy of Syfy, and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is also in line for a film adaptation. Now, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is in line for a reimagining in the form of a TV movie, and has found itself an impressive lead in the form of Elisabeth Moss.
Arguably best know for playing Peggy Olsen in hit TV series Mad Men, Moss will take on the role of protagonist Offred, who tolerates a dystopian future Earth in which a totalitarian government effectively reduces the role of women in society to that of virtual slavery. Some are kept as concubines for the purposes of reproduction, known in the novel as ‘handmaids’, of which Offred is one. Along the course of the novel she has to survive a series of political intrigues that she encounters, all the while attempting to locate her long-lost son.
An all-time literary classic, the only time this has been adapted for the screen previously was in Volker Schlöndorff’s Harold Pinter-penned 1990 feature (starring Natasha Richardson, Faye Dunaway and Robert Duvall), with original producer Daniel Wilson returning to shepherd this update along.
Considering the talent involved both in front of and behind the camera (Bruce Miller is also on board as writer/producer), we’re cautiously optimistic about this adaptation. The original novel contains some pretty meaty themes that remain relevant today, and the fact that Moss is present in the lead role can only be seen as a good thing. There’s no word on when (or where) we’ll see it, as it’s airing on Hulu in the US, but hopefully it won’t be long.
The Handmaid’s Tale will be available on Hulu in the US in 2017. For more news about the biggest movies, pick up the new issue of SciFiNow.