The streaming service Hulu has announced it is adapting Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (Houghton Mifflin, 1986) into a 10-episiode drama. The news sent the novel rising on Amazon’s sales charts.
Elisabeth Moss, who made her name on Mad Men, will star. Atwood will serve as a consulting producer.
In a hulu press release Atwood says:
“The Handmaid’s Tale is more relevant now than when it was written, and I am sure the series will be watched with great interest. I have read the first two scripts and they are excellent; I can hardly wait to see the finished episodes.”
The series is set to debut in 2017 and will be the second screen adaptation of Atwood’s dystopian novel. A 1990 film starring Natasha Richardson, Faye Dunaway and Robert Duvall told the story of a religious totalitarian state that controls women and their fertility. The scathing and grim novel has also been adapted into a graphic novel, an opera, and a ballet.
The novel won the inaugural Arthur C. Clarke award and was nominated for the Booker Prize and Nebula Award. In 2012, Atwood wrote an essay for The Guardian on the novel’s genesis and legacy.