MGM TV Acquires Margaret Atwood’s Novel ‘The Heart Goes Last’


MGM Television is building on its collaboration with author Margaret Atwood on the upcoming Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale by acquiring the TV rights to her well-reviewed novel The Heart Goes Last.

Penguin/Random House

The book tells the story of Stan and Charmaine, a young urban couple who have been hit by job loss and bankruptcy in the midst of a nationwide economic collapse. Forced to live in their third-hand Honda, where they are vulnerable to roving gangs, they think the gated community of Consilience might be the answer to their prayers. If they sign a life contract, they’ll get a job and a lovely house — for six months out of the year. On alternating months, residents must leave their homes and serve as inmates in the Positron prison system. At first, this seems worth it: They will have a roof over their heads and food on the table. But after a series of troubling events, Positron begins to look less like a prayer answered and more like a chilling prophecy fulfilled.

The novel, published in fall 2015, has already has been printed in 18 languages, becoming a national and international bestseller.

“To partner again with such an astounding author and amazing icon is a testament to MGM Television’s goal to producing high-quality and bold entertainment programming,” said Steve Stark, MGM’s President of Television Development and Production. “The Heart Goes Last is another compelling and surprising work of speculative fiction that only Margaret Atwood can bring to life in her signature provocative style.”

MGM TV is producing The Handmaid’s Tale for Hulu, based on Atwood’s bestselling 1985 novel. The series explores life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what formerly was part of the United States, starring Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski and Samira Wiley. Atwood is a consulting producer for the series, which is scheduled to premiere on Hulu in 2017.

The TV rights for The Heart Goes Last were negotiated by ICM Partners for Atwood. Lindsay Sloane, MGM’s EVP television production will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.

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