The Handmaid’s Tale first came to life as a dystopian novel from author Margaret Atwood. The book received huge critical acclaim and has never been out of print since its first publication in 1985. Set in New-England, in the near future, The Handmaid’s Tale explores the role of women in a totalitarian authority, where barren women are “wives” while fertile women are kept as handmaidens with their sole purpose being to bear children.
There have been previous adaptations of The Handmaid’s Tale, including on stage, radio, and screen. There has never been a serial adaptation, though, at least not until now. Starting in April, Hulu will bring The Handmaid’s Tale to life, starring Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Joseph Fiennes (Flashforward), and Samira Wiley (Orange is the New Black). The first full trailer for The Handmaid’s Tale has arrived from Hulu, and it promises to be a close adaptation of the novel, with the story also being expanded upon. Take a look below.
Those who have read the novel will recall that The Handmaid’s Tale main character is Offred (Moss), and she frequently refers back to her old life, when she had a husband and child. That certainly looks to be more heavily featured, if this trailer is anything to go by. And it seems we will get a clearer idea of what went on when the government was overthrown, including how women were suddenly expected to become subservient.
The essence of the book is captured even in the trailer, which is a promising sign. The fact that Atwood served as a consulting producer is also encouraging. The Commander’s (Fiennes) chilling statement, “better never means better for everyone,” points to the role of the handmaidens versus those in charge; a world in which women can be punished for voicing their thoughts and feelings. The series will certainly provoke discussion about the rise of feminism in today’s society, and the subjugation of women throughout history. Not only that, but the uprising of a totalitarian government is sure to draw many comments given the global political climate right now.
All of that aside, though, if The Handmaid’s Tale is done well, it will prove a massive boost to Hulu. The streaming service has enjoyed moderate success with its original programming so far, but nothing in comparison to its main competitors, Netflix and Amazon Prime. The Handmaid’s Tale could well prove to be its breakout hit, as well as a gripping and thought-provoking drama. The Handmaid’s Tale premieres April 26th on Hulu.