Samira Wiley and Elisabeth Moss are going to be joined by English actor Joseph Fiennes in the adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s book THE HANDMAID’S TALE for Hulu. The online streaming service has picked up the drama from creator-writer Bruce Miller for 10 episodes.
The dystopian story takes place in Gilead, a totalitarian society, which treats women as property of the state. Population is dwindling, the world is suffering, and any fertile woman is forced into sexual servitude in order to bear children for the world. One of these women is Offred (Moss), who has to navigate the commander’s house where she lives and the many treacherous people there, in order to survive and try and find her daughter. Wiley plays Moira, a fellow handmaid and friend of Offred.
Fiennes will be taking on the role of Commander Fred Waterford, who was one of the founders of Gilead. He rules the household where Offred is kept and is powerful and high-ranking.
This marks a return for Fiennes to television, who was last seen on the small screen in Season 2 of American Horror Story. He also appeared in the series Camelot and Flash Forward, but is best known for his work in period films like Shakespeare in Love and Elizabeth.
The Handmaid’s Tale will be co-executive produced by Miller, who has extensive television experience, working on various series from The 100 to Medium to Everwood. Joining him will be Daniel Wilson (who also produced the 1990 feature film adaptation of the story starring Natasha Richardson, Faye Dunaway and Robert Duvall), Fran Sears, Warren Littlefield, and Ilene Chaiken. Atwood will be a consulting producer on the series.
It will premiere in 2017, with Reed Morano directing and executive producing the first three episodes.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor