EXCLUSIVE: Reed Morano is in talks to direct The Handmaid’s Tale for Hulu starring Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men). Hulu has given a straight-to-series order for the drama from MGM Television, which is based on Margaret Atwood’s bestselling novel.
Morano earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for her cinematography in her directorial debut Meadowland. As a DP, Morano has been a regular on the fest circuit with numerous films at Sundance in recent years including Kill Your Darlings, Shut Up and Play the Hits and Frozen River.
Meadowland starred Olivia Wilde, Luke Wilson and Giovanni Ribisi. While directing, Morano — ala Steven Soderbergh — also served as DP on the film, which premiered in competition at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. Morano’s TV credits include AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire and Showtime’s Billions.
Morano also won the Saatchi & Saatchi New Director award at the 2016 Cannes Lions for directing the PSA for CoorDown, starring Wilde, which screened at the UN during World Down Syndrome Day in March.
Ilene Chaiken wrote the original script for The Handmaid’s Tale that was bought by Hulu, but she could no longer render services when she became showrunner on Fox’s Empire. The 100′s Bruce Miller is listed by Hulu as creator, writer and executive producer, with Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears (Sophisticated Gents) and Warren Littlefield (Fargo) also executive producing. Atwood will serve as consulting producer for the series, which will premiere in 2017. The project marks the first collaboration for an original series between Hulu and MGM.
Atwood’s book previously was adapted into a 1990 feature film directed by Volker Schlondorff and starring Natasha Richardson, Faye Dunaway and Robert Duvall. The story is set in a dystopia dominated by right-wing religious tyranny, where a young woman is put in sexual slavery on account of her now-rare fertility.
Morano is repped by WME.