Hulu and MGM who are already responsible for adapting Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale into a hit TV series, which has so far had three gripping seasons, have announced they will also be adapting her latest novel, The Testaments.
The first season of The Handmaid’s Tale stuck fairly closely to Atwood’s original narrative from the novel with the finale featuring Offred boarding a van and ending on a cliff-hanger which Atwood has waited 34 years to return to. The show however has continued, and as Hulu picks it up for a fourth season the show’s writers have had to develop creative new narratives based on Atwood’s original story with the author herself as a consulting producer.
Margaret Atwood spoke to TIME magazine about the series. She said, “They can’t keep Offred in Gilead for many more seasons, or a certain amount of wheel spinning will be going on. They have to move her along — and I’ve given them lots of ways of how that would happen.”
With The Testaments on the brink of publishing however, this is all likely to change. Atwood’s latest novel picks up the story about 15 years later. The story is no longer told through the eyes of Offred but through the perspective of three other women connected to Gilead. These three women are; a young woman raised in the oppressive society of Gilead, a Canadian teen who learns she was actually born in Gilead, and Aunt Lydia who fans of The Handmaid’s Tale (book and series) will know as a villainous character.
While Atwood has worked closely with Bruce Miller, the showrunner for the series, and his team she has kept the plot of The Testaments closely-guarded. In an interview with TIME, Miller stated that he “is looking forward to the release of The Testaments,” since he and his staff have yet to read this hotly anticipated but highly top-secret novel. Miller also added, “We’ve tried to hint at the wider world as much as possible in the show. The Testaments really gives us much wider glimpses into other parts of the world.”
Speaking about her new book with TIME, Atwood added, “The Testaments is the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale and it is an answer of a kind to all the questions that readers have been asking me over the years. But it also seemed appropriate in our moment of history, when things in a number of countries seem to be going more towards Gilead than away from Gilead.”
The book many readers have been waiting for, The Testaments by Margaret Atwood publishes 10th September and we’re extremely excited to read it. While Hulu and MGM have yet to announce an air date for their adaptation, however, since The Handmaid’s Tale has been recommissioned for season four we expect it to follow this.