“We never wanted the show to be this relevant,” Elisabeth Moss recently told Entertainment Weekly on the set of The Handmaid’s Tale, which gives you a sense of the mindset within which Hulu is adapting Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel. Moss is both a producer on the project as well as its star, playing Offred: the eponymous handmaid in the totalitarian Republic of Gilead, stripped of her previous identity, family, and autonomy and prized for her fertility. Hulu has released a handful of first-look photos revealing Offred’s iconic outfit, plus a glimpse of other handmaids and The Commander (Joseph Fiennes).
The costume is a little subtler than I was expecting, definitely leaning more toward traditional Pilgrim garb than Offred’s look from the 1990 movie:
This was the most chilling photo of the bunch, as it shows Commander Fred, Offred, and his wife Serena Joy (Dexter and Chuck‘s Yvonne Strahovski) preparing for—or perhaps finished with—the monthly fertility ritual:
Offred lying awake, probably haunted by memories of her lost husband and daughter:
I’m assuming that this photo is part of a sequence showing the handmaids going through their daily lives—here I’m guessing it’s prayer:
Probably related to this teaser, though the music choice makes me wonder if it’s the more ominous gathering of the handmaids that we see later in the book.
But just as in the novel, bleakness is joined by hope: Hulu is promoting the series on various social media platforms including Instagram, the latter highlighting a new female cast or crew member under the hashtag #MyHandmaidsTale. Right now it’s director Reed Morano; new #MyHandmaidsTale entries are posted every two weeks.