Elisabeth Moss Cast in The Handmaid’s Tale
Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale is set to be made into a Hulu series, to premier in 2017. The series will cast Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss as the story’s protagonist, Offred, and will be directed by Bruce Miller (CW’s The 100), with Atwood as a consultant. The series will prove to be yet another cutting edge drama for Hulu, which doesn’t shy away from shows about pertinent and controversial topics.
The Handmaid’s Tale is set in the dystopian world of Gilead, formerly the United States, sometime in the near future. When infertility becomes an epidemic, a totalitarian Christian theocracy takes over the country, forcing women to live under a harsh patriarchy inspired by Biblical passages. While no women in Gilead have any socio-political rights, some, like Offred, are forced to become child bearing vessels for high ranking military officials. The story is set early in the regime, and Offred remembers life before theocracy, longing to be reunited with her young daughter. But though she is reminiscent about her old life Offred is not a revolutionary, and is willing to compromise in order to stay alive in such a dangerous, oppressive world. She faces a difficult fight not only against society but against the internalization of religious rule in order to retain her identity. Her struggle to balance the will to survive with the desire to be free, and her complex relationship with The Commander, the official whose name she bears, makes The Handmaid’s Tale one of the most compelling and brilliant stories of the 20th century.
Atwood recently released a statement praising the script, saying that The Handmaid’s Tale is “more relevant now” than when she wrote it. The novel received the Governor General’s Award for English-language fiction in 1985 as well as the prestigious science fiction Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1987. The Handmaid’s Tale is a powerful cautionary tale that resonates into today’s politically polarized world, urging women to remain vigilant in their fight to retain control over their reproductive rights, and in the battle for social and economic equality.
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