Handmaids Tale series recruits American Horror Story star

Another recognisable face has joined Hulu’s Handmaids Tale adaptation

THE HANDMAID'S TALE, Natasha Richardson, Robert Duvall, 1990, (c) Cinecon International

We’ve had our eye on the upcoming TV series adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s classic novel The Handmaid’s Tale for a while now. With online streaming service Hulu having demonstrated their capacity for high-quality retellings of tricky source material via their miniseries of Stephen King’s 11.22.63, we feel that bit more confident that Atwood’s dystopian drama is in safe hands.

Now, we feel doubly so, as another addition to the small yet already strong cast has been announced in the form of Joseph Fiennes, who will be playing Commander Fred Waterford. To say exactly who he is will delve too deeply into spoiler territory, so for those of you who haven’t read the book we won’t spoil things, but needless to say it’s an interesting piece of casting considering what we know.

The cast have a lot to live up to, considering the last film (Volker Schlöndorff’s 1990 adaptation) starred the likes of Faye Dunaway and Robert Duvall, and benefited from a screenplay adapted by the legendary Harold Pinter, but this recent addition especially bodes well.

Handmaids Tale Joseph Fiennes
Joseph Fiennes in American Horror Story.

The story takes place in the land of 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.

Fiennes joins a cast that already includes Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) as Offred, Samira Wiley (Orange Is The New Black) as Moira, Max Minghella (Horns) as Nick, and Ann Dowd (The Leftovers) as Aunt Lydia, with Bruce Miller, Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears and Warren Littlefield on board as producers.

The Handmaid’s Tale will air on Hulu in the US in 2017, with a UK channel and air date to be announced. For all the latest TV news, pick up the new issue of SciFiNow.