Margaret Atwood fans, Hulu have finally released a full-length trailer for The Handmaid’s Tale – and there’s no denying that the terrifying tale of Gilead feels more relevant than ever before.
Fresh on the heels of Trump’s abortion gagging order, the TV series forces us to envisage a future where women find themselves under attack by a totalitarian and misogynist society.
They take to the streets with placards and banners in a desperate bid to defend their rights (sound familiar?), but to no avail; instead, they find themselves annexed as property of the state – and fertile females are forced into a life of sexual servitude and surrogacy for the good of mankind.
Offred (Elisabeth Moss) has, like so many others, donned the anonymous red capes and white caps worn by Gilead’s Handmaids. Her reproductive responsibilities are quickly made clear; her job is to serve the Commander (Joseph Fiennes) and his wife, Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski).
And, if she doesn’t give them a healthy baby, she will be sent to live and die in the radioactive colonies.
Watch the trailer for yourself below:
“I have another name,” Offred says, reminding us that her identity – just like her basic human rights – has been taken from her.
In the new trailer, we learn that Offred had a daughter before she became a Handmaid; the little girl was snatched from her when she found herself labelled a “wanton woman”.
And, as she grows brave enough to confront the Commander she has been forced to serve, Offred has plenty to ask him about the totalitarian regime that Americans have been subjected to.
“We only wanted to make the world better,” the Commander informs her: “But better never means better for everyone.”
The visuals are striking, brutal, and unrelenting; we see stark birthing chambers, a bloodstained wall, Offred bending down to be whipped, and Alexis Bledel’s character, Offglen, being marched towards an unknown fate whilst wearing a face gag.
Samira Wiley’s character, the rebellious and tenacious Moira, also makes an appearance – and, while her time on screen is fleeting, it immediately feels as if she has some secret all of her own.
Speaking about the 10-part series, Atwood said: “I am thrilled that MGM and Hulu are developing The Handmaid's Tale as a series, and extra thrilled that the very talented Elisabeth Moss will be playing the central character.
“The Handmaid's Tale is more relevant now than when it was written, and I am sure the series will be watched with great interest. I have read the first two scripts and they are excellent; I can hardly wait to see the finished episodes.”
Atwood has already warned that Trump’s America is in danger of becoming a real-life Gilead. And, writing on the success of her 1985 novel, she has explained that the horror stems from the fact that it is rooted primarily in reality.
“I made a rule for myself: I would not include anything that human beings had not already done in some other place or time, or for which the technology did not already exist,” she said.
“The group-activated hangings, the tearing apart of human beings, the clothing specific to castes and classes, the forced childbearing and the appropriation of the results, the children stolen by regimes and placed for upbringing with high-ranking officials, the forbidding of literacy, the denial of property rights: all had precedents.”
The Handmaid’s Tale premieres on Hulu on 26 April.