“The Handmaid’s Tale” executive producer Bruce Miller explained what the differences will be between the series and the source novel during the TCA Winter Press Tour on Saturday.
“I think that when you have a novel and a TV show, the dynamics between the relationships have to be different,” Miller said of the Hulu series. One such difference is that both The Commander (Joseph Fiennes) and Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) have been aged down compared to their literary counterparts.
“I was very mindful of the relationship between Serena Joy and Offred,” Miller said. “It bumped me when I saw in the movie that Serena Joy was beyond child-bearing years. It felt like they weren’t in direct competition and Offred wasn’t taking a role that Serena wanted more than anything for herself.”
The series, which is based on the novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood, follows Offred (Elizabeth Moss), a servant in the household of a high-ranking official in a totalitarian society called Gilead. Being one of the few remaining fertile women in Gilead, she is forced into sexual servitude.
Reed Morano, an executive producer and director of the first three episodes, also explained why she focused so heavily on close-up shots of Offred.
“It’s a POV show and, the way the script is written, it’s so much in her head,” Morano said. “I felt the way we could get closest to her in Gilead is if we are right up in her face … This is sort of an uncomfortable world and, wanting the audience to feel that, I glued the camera to the front of her bonnet, basically.”
The series was created, executive produced and written by Miller with Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears and Warren Littlefield serving as executive producers.
Atwood served as consulting producer for the series. MGM Television will produce, which marks the first collaboration on an original series between Hulu and MGM.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” premieres on April 26 on Hulu.