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Elisabeth Moss Is Starring in Hulu's Adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale

Image: Mad Men, AMC
Image: Mad Men, AMC

Today, Hulu not only announced that they are adapting Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, it’s also already ordered a full season of the show and cast the lead.


Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) will play Offred, the titular “handmaid.”If you’re wondering what plot, other than survival, will drive Hulu’s version, this part of the official description may provide a clue:

Adapted from Margaret Atwood’s influential and acclaimed novel, THE HANDMAID’S TALE is the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly part of the United States. Facing environmental disasters and a plunging birthrate, Gilead is ruled by a twisted religious fundamentalism that treats women as property of the state. As one of the few remaining fertile women, Offred is a Handmaid in the Commander’s household, one of the caste of women forced into sexual servitude as a last desperate attempt to repopulate a devastated world. In this terrifying society where one wrong word could end her life, Offred navigates between Commanders, their cruel Wives, domestic Marthas, and her fellow Handmaids – where anyone could be a spy for Gilead — all with one goal: to survive and find the daughter that was taken from her.


I feel like Offred’s search for her daughter is going to be a major driving force of the story, giving it a more concrete goal and creating easy plot points for the series.

Regardless, the world created by Atwood is more than expansive enough to fill a whole series, and Atwood herself serving as a consulting producer. Writing and executive producing the show will be Bruce Miller (The 100) and Daniel Wilson (The Handmaid’s Tale movie).

Katharine is the former managing editor of io9.

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And a little apprehensive, although goodness knows that the story’s drive and themes are as relevant now as they were back when the novel was actually written. The fact that it’s a series tilts me over to optimism, though — plenty of time to explore the little details which make up so much of Atwood’s story.

I just hope it’s better than the movie.

Tangentially, has anyone re/reread The Handmaid’s Tale recently? I last gave it a spin during the 2012 presidential elections, and gosh. Between Romney and Santorum, so much hit home.