Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

OITNB’s Samira Wiley is heading to the dystopian world of The Handmaid’s Tale

Orange Is The New Black

We’re still not over the fact that Samira Wiley won’t be on Orange Is The New Black anymore. At least she landed a recurring role on You’re The Worst, which seemed, at the time, like the best news imaginable. But it apparently gets even better: The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Wiley will also co-star in the upcoming, terrifyingly relevant television adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale. Wiley joins Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss in Gilead, Margaret Atwood’s dystopian sci-fi society where environmental disasters have caused the birth rate to plummet and misogyny becomes the law of the land as women are treated as property of the state by a despotic and fundamentalist government. (Hey, it sounds a lot like the Republican National Convention.)

Moss plays Offred, the titular handmaid who works in the commander’s household. Wiley will play Moira, Offred’s best friend from college and a fellow handmaid-in-training. (Now that we’re thinking about it, a crossover universe where Peggy Olson and Poussey Washington are best friends sounds like the best thing ever. This might not be that exactly, but it’s close enough.) This marks the first regular role for Wiley in the post-OITNB chapter of her hopefully very long career. Unfortunately, our increasing excitement over this adaptation—which looks better and better with every new announcement—is tempered by the increasing sense of dread as its subject material proves more and more prescient.


The 100’s Bruce Miller penned the script and will executive produce alongside Daniel Wilson (who produced the 1990 feature film adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale), Fran Sears (The Sophisticated Gents), Warren Littlefield (Fargo), and Ilene Chaiken (Empire, The L Word). Reed Morano (cinematographer on Looking and Vinyl) is set to direct the first three episodes. Atwood serves as a consulting producer for the series, which is scheduled to enter production in Toronto this fall. The 10-episode series will premiere on Hulu in 2017.

Share This Story