Hulu’s adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale just found its male lead. Today Deadline announced that Joseph Fiennes (American Horror Story, Shakespeare In Love) would star opposite Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) in the upcoming dystopian drama.
The Handmaid’s Tale is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. The story takes place in Gilead, which was previously part of the United States. In this dystopian world, humanity suffers natural disasters and a declining birth rate. The twisted governing ideals of Gilead have enslaved women as property of the state. Any remaining fertile woman serves as a Handmaid, one of a caste of women forced into sexual servitude to try and repopulate the human race.
Elizabeth Moss will play Offred, one of the handmaids. Her name literally means of-Fred or the property of Fred. And who is Fred? Well that’s Commander Fred Waterford, one Gilead’s founding fathers who will be played by Joseph Fiennes.
The Handmaid’s Tale will focus on Offred as she navigates the dangerous society of Commanders, abusive wives, and fellow Handmaids. In her world, anyone could be a spy, and one wrong word or step out of line could get her killed. But that won’t keep her from searching for her daughter who was taken away from her.
MGM Television is behind The Handmaid’s Tale which was created and written for TV by Bruce Miller. Alongside Miller, the show’s executive producers include Warren Littlefield, Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears, and Ilene Chaiken. Reed Morano is slated to direct the first three episodes of the series and Margaret Atwood herself has signed on as a consulting producer.
Joining Moss and Fiennes in the cast are Samira Wiley (Orange Is the New Black), Ann Dowd (The Leftovers), Max Minghella (The Mindy Project) and Madeline Brewer (Hemlock Grove).
The Handmaid’s Tale TV adaptation was announced back in April when Hulu ordered the project straight-to-series. The series will consist of 10 episodes and is expected to premiere in 2017.