You read it in high school, like many Canadian students. And 30+ years on, "The Handmaid's Tale" is arguably more relevant than ever.
A chilling two-minute trailer of the upcoming TV series based on the novel was released Thursday by Hulu, the U.S. company that is adapting the Margaret Atwood classic. In terms of striking just the right, unsettling, dystopian tone, the trailer nails it.
"I was asleep before," Elizabeth Moss, who plays the main character, Offred, says in a voice-over. "That's how we let it happen. When they slaughtered Congress, we didn't wake up. When they blamed terrorists and suspended the Constitution, we didn't wake up either."
"The Handmaid's Tale" takes place in an alternate version of the United States, which has been taken over by a totalitarian theocracy and renamed Gilead. Women's rights are taken away and Offred is part of a class of women who are forced to bear children for powerful men and their wives who cannot conceive.
Although Atwood wrote the novel in 1985, some commenters on the trailer seemed to think it was a response to Donald Trump's presidency:
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) March 23, 2017
To which Atwood had a perfectly Atwood response:
(Sigh) First published in 1985. https://t.co/6ItyIIEXeS— Margaret E. Atwood (@MargaretAtwood) March 24, 2017
The author also told followers to watch for an announcement Monday (March 28) about whether the new series will be available for Canadian viewers (Hulu's full service is U.S.-only):
Announcement coming Monday! https://t.co/TW1K4XMj2B— Margaret E. Atwood (@MargaretAtwood) March 25, 2017
It was just announced the series will be carried by Bravo in Canada, starting with a two-hour premiere on Sunday, April 30 at 9 p.m. ET, and continuing on Sundays for a total of 10 episodes. It will then launch in entirely on CraveTV.
In the meantime, check out the trailer above and see if you can spot a few notable Toronto landmarks within.