Hulu has their sights set on awards season for 2017, with a high-profile series adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale in the works. Now EW has revealed that Chuck‘s Yvonne Strahovski is joining a top-tier cast that already includes Mad Men‘s Elisabeth Moss and Joseph Fiennes.
Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is a set in a nightmarish dystopian world where birth rates have plummeted and women have become essentially become brood mares for the state. Elisabeth Moss stars as Offred, a fertile woman indentured as a sex slave under The Commander (Fiennes). Strahovski will play The Commander’s wife. The cast also includes Orange Is the New Black’s Samira Wiley as Offred’s best friend.
Hulu ordered 10 episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale straight to series earlier this year. The script was originally written by Empire‘s Ilene Chaiken, but her commitments to that series pulled her off The Handmaid’s Tale. The show is now being written and executive produced by Bruce Miller (The 100).
First published in 1985, The Handmaid’s Tale took home the very first Arthur C. Clarke award in 1987, and was also nominated for a Nebula and a Booker Prize. Hulu’s show will be just the latest of many adaptations over the years. The best known version was probably the 1990 film starring Natasha Richardson, Faye Dunaway, and Robert Duvall. It’s also been a radio drama, a stage play, and even an opera.
While Hulu has made a name for itself in the past year with some top-tier comedies, they’ve also been developing some promising dramas. The Path, starring Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul, was critically praised and renewed for a second season. They also have Chance, starring Hugh Laurie, debuting this October, and recently announced an upcoming adaptation of Marvel’s Runaways comic series.
With continuing debates over women’s autonomy over their bodies and reproductive choices, The Handmaid’s Tale should be just as timely in the 21st century as it was in the 20th. Expect lots of “think-pieces” when the series hits sometime in 2017.