'The Handmaid's Tale' Takes a Stand in New Poster (Exclusive)

Hulu offers another sneak peek into the world of Gilead.
Courtesy of Hulu

Ever since Hulu announced it was bringing Margaret Atwood’s award-winning novel The Handmaid’s Tale to life, avid readers have been invoking some of the story’s iconic images and themes in order to make larger political points.

From the women who dressed up as handmaids at a Texas State Senate meeting to protest an anti-abortion bill, to people carrying signs at the Women’s March reading “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum” — the famous quote meaning “Don’t let those bastards get you down,” the book seems to be everywhere these days. And Hulu is fully embracing it.

In a new poster promoting the April 26 premiere, series star Elisabeth Moss can be seen dressed as leading lady Offred in her handmaid’s uniform. She’s blurred out in a mirroring effect however, with the word “Object” scratched across her face.

The poster is a comment on the life of women in the fictional, totalitarian world of Gilead (formerly Boston), where all females are segregated into groups depending on their usefulness. There are the blue-wearing wives of the rich, the green-clad “Marthas,” who tend to the cooking and household chores, and then there are the red “Handmaids,” who take on the names of the men who “own” them (Offred is "Of – Fred," aka her household’s commander, as played by Joseph Fiennes in the series). These are the women who are still able to bear children, and are essentially raped by their commanders once a month in a special “ceremony” in hopes that they will become pregnant and repopulate a dying society.

Of course the poster is also a play on words: although Offred is seen as an object she — along with some of the other handmaids — begins to "object" to the way she's being treated and decides to fight back.

Although the book was released in 1985, and later adapted for a 1990 feature film of the same name starring Faye Dunaway and Robert Duvall, recent promos for the Hulu series have stirred up quite a few comments from Donald Trump supporters who feel the show is an attack on the president's administration.

“I was asleep before — that’s how we let it happen,” Offred narrates in the two-minute trailer’s opener. “When they slaughtered Congress we didn’t wake up. When they blamed terrorists and suspended the Constitution, we didn’t wake up then either. Now I’m awake.”

The 10-episode offering also stars Yvonne Strahovski, Alexis Bledel, Samira Wiley, Ann Dowd, Madeline Brewer and Amanda Brugel. Showrunner Bruce Miller executive produces alongside Warren Littlefield, director Reed Morano, Daniel Wilson (who also worked on the feature film) and Fran Sears. Empire’s Ilene Chaiken penned the original script, which was then reworked by Miller.

The Handmaid’s Tale debuts the first three episodes April 26 on Hulu.

Thoughts? Comment below.

Twitter: @amber_dowling

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