Samira Wiley is fresh off her role as Poussey on Netflix’s hit women’s prison drama, Orange is the New Black. She had a dramatic and show-altering part in the finale of Season 4 that is detailed here at MXDWN (*does contain spoilers). Now, according to Deadline, Wiley is going to a dystopian future, and has taken a role in Hulu’s adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale. The upcoming drama is based on the Margaret Atwood novel, set in a dystopian future, where a certain class of women are merely “handmaids” who are used only to bear children.
As Deadline reported earlier, the straight-to-series drama will star Elizabeth Moss and is produced by MGM Television. The pilot script was originally written by Ilene Chaiken, but she has since left the project, because she had a previous commitment as the showrunner on Empire. Bruce Miller of The 100 is credited as the creator, writer and executive producer, and Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears and Warren Littlefield are also executive producing. Margaret Atwood will serve as consulting producer for the series.
Deadline summarizes the plot of the series as, “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.” As Deadline reports, Wiley will play Moira, the college best friend of lead character Offred, who will be played by Moss. They are both handmaids-in-training at the Red Center, where the handmaids train together. Offred and Moira are also friends from the world before the terrible world of Gilead.
Deadline confirms that Max Minghella from The Mindy Project and Ann Dowd The Leftovers have also joined the cast. Reed Morano, who started as a cinematographer and has directed on Halt and Catch Fire and the feature Lioness starring Ellen Page, is set to direct the first three episodes.
The series is set to premiere in 2017.