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Everything We Know About THE HANDMAID’S TALE So Far

Everything We Know About THE HANDMAID’S TALE So Far

Update 5/3/17

You’re bound to see people making quips about how today’s political climate is eerily reminiscent of the plot of a book called The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Although the book was first written back in 1985, some of its themes still seem to persist and echo despite of the passage of time.

Hulu confirmed plans to adapt the novel into an original series, and leading up until the April 26 premiere date, the streaming service continued to tease out threads of The Handmaid’s Tale and its riveting narrative. The latest trailer filled in some more of the blanks of our protagonist Offred’s story and the circumstances that led to her becoming a Handmaid in the first place:

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

The Handmaid’s Tale is set in a place called the Republic of Gilead, where a military dictatorship has forcefully assumed control over what used to be the United States of America. As a result, women’s rights are largely unrecognized (too real, am I right?), with many of them being relegated to a class status called “handmaids,” where they are forced to conceive and bear children for wealthy couples. The narrator of The Handmaid’s Tale is a woman called Offred, who tells the story of her assignment as a Handmaid with occasional interspersing flashbacks to her life before.

The Handmaid's Tale Hulu

The Handmaid’s Tale was first adapted for film in 1990, but given the passage of time one could argue it was long overdue for an update. Enter Hulu, which announced back in April 2016 that it would be producing a series adaptation of Atwood’s novel consisting of 10 episodes. Prior to the release of a longer trailer for the series, this “in production” teaser was definitely enough to pique our curiosity.

As part of this year’s TCA Winter Tour, Hulu also released a first-look trailer which sheds a little more light on the character of Offred and her pre-Handmaid life, as well as a brand-new trailer that makes her mission clear: she intends to survive, no matter the cost.

This trailer marks a unique milestone for streaming television, as it will also be Hulu’s very first ad spot to run during this year’s Super Bowl. According to Adweek, the new trailer will run during the second quarter of the game.

WHY IT’S RELEVANT

While this is far from the first version of Margaret Atwood’s novel that’s been adapted for the screen, the upcoming release of the new Handmaid’s Tale feels strangely – and unsettlingly – fitting, and it’s a sentiment shared amongst both fans and the cast themselves.

The source material definitely has a very clear narrative beginning and conclusion, but that doesn’t mean that the Hulu series will limit itself in the same way. Executive Producer Bruce Miller told us that “there’s an incredible amount in the book” that could lend itself to an even longer adaptation if the series moves beyond its first planned season.

WHO’S BEEN CAST

Following the original announcement of cast members including Elisabeth Moss as Offred, Samira Wiley as Moira, Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy and Joseph Fiennes as Commander Waterford, as well as Max Minghella, Madeline Brewer, Ann Dowd and O-T Fagbenle, Hulu revealed that another name of interest would be joining the program: Alexis Bledel, known best as Gilmore Girls‘ incessantly sweet (even when she’s up to no good) Rory Gilmore, is taking on a central role as Ofglen, Moss’ character’s fellow handmaid and friend. Vulture broke the news and shared the below image of Bledel in character:

05-alexis-bledel-handmaids-tale-w1340-h891

You can check out the entire confirmed list of cast members in the gallery below—which also reveals some exciting new photos of them in character.

WHEN IT’S COMING OUT

The Handmaid’s Tale will premiere in its entirety on Hulu on April 26, 2017. A total of ten episodes have been produced, with the first three debuting on the series premiere date and the remaining seven airing one at a time on a weekly basis. Based on what we’ve seen of it so far (shhhh, no spoilers!) this is going to be a series that will keep you glued to your seat for every single minute.

WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

Hulu confirmed on Wednesday, May 3 that The Handmaid’s Tale has been renewed for a second season, which will air in 2018. The official renewal announcement was made as a part of Hulu’s NewFront upfronts event. While the network doesn’t release official viewing numbers (similar to other streaming services like Netflix), Hulu said that The Handmaid’s Tale was the most-watched premiere ever – not just among its original series but its shows acquired from other networks as well. Now that a second season is confirmed, we’ll have to see exactly how Offred emerges on the other side of season one when it wraps up this spring.

Are you enjoying this brand-new adaptation? Let us know in the comments and keep checking back on this post for more details!

Image: Take Five/Hulu

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