American Horror Story‘s Joseph Fiennes has been cast as the male lead opposite Elisabeth Moss in Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, the upcoming straight-to-series drama based on Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel. Production on the 10-episode project from MGM TV is slated to start in the fall in Toronto ahead of a 2017 premiere.
Fiennes will play Commander Fred Waterford, founding father of Gilead and powerful, high-ranking official. Commander Waterford rules the household where Offred (Moss) is a handmaid.
The series tells the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly part of the United States. Facing environmental disasters and a plunging birthrate, Gilead is ruled by a twisted fundamentalism that treats women as property of the state. As one of the few remaining fertile women, Offred (Moss) 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. In this terrifying society where one wrong word could end her life, Offred navigates between Commanders, their cruel Wives, domestic Marthas, and her fellow Handmaids – where anyone could be a spy for Gilead – all with one goal: to survive and find the daughter that was taken from her.
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The Handmaid’s Tale is created, executive produced and written by Bruce Miller, with Warren Littlefield, Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears, and Ilene Chaiken serving as executive producers. Atwood is a consulting producer for the series. Reed Morano is set to direct the first three episodes.
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