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Margaret Atwood’s The Heart Goes Last Is Getting a TV Adaptation

Artwork of a couple in a near future city with partial decay - The Heart Goes Last TV Series Is Happening

The mistress of speculative dystopic fiction partners with HBO to bring The Heart Goes Last TV Series to your living room.

Though we have been anxiously waiting (FOR YEARS) for HBO to get their butts in gear for the MaddAddam television series, it seems as though MGM is going to beat them to the punch where Margaret Atwood is concerned. The media giant just picked up Atwood’s newest best-seller for a The Heart Goes Last TV series after just recently grabbing another one of Atwood’s greatest hits, The Handmaid’s Tale for a Hulu original series. Both novels have won prestigious awards, including the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and are both best sellers. The Handmaids Tale has never gone out of print since its publication in 1985. Luckily for fans, MGM seems passionate about the novels, and I trust (…hope…) they’ll take good care of the plot and characters.

Details on The Heart Goes Last Story

For those who haven’t picked up Atwood’s dystopic prison novel The Heart Goes Last, it tells the story of Stan and Charmaine a young couple struggling to survive in a big city. Recently hit by a nationwide economic collapse, Stan and Charmaine live in their beat up Honda, sleeping with one eye open to watch out for the ruthless gangs that roam the streets. As they realize you can’t get any lower than rock-bottom, the couple hears about the gated community called Consilience (cons+resilience), and hope it can save them from homelessness and the danger lurking on city streets.

To enter the gated community, they must sign a life contract that rewards them with a job and a house, and a nonnegotiable prison sentence. Peculiar catch, right? Stan and Charmaine will have to spend have the year serving in the Positron prison system so that they can spend the other half living a utopic lifestyle in their new house. Unfortunately for them, their house isn’t left empty when they’re incarcerated. It turns into a home for their Alternates, a couple that replaces them when they’re not around. If that’s not unusual, it gets better: both Stan and Charmaine become passionately obsessed with their Alternates (unbeknownst to each other), which results in a deeply disturbing affair that pulls away the veil on the reality of Positron Prison and Consilience itself.

The Heart Goes Last TV Series

The Heart Goes Last became a National and International best-seller shortly after publication. The rights for a television show based on the novel were negotiated by ICM Partners for Atwood, and Lindsay Sloane will oversee the production.  “To partner again with such an astounding author and amazing icon is a testament to MGM Television’s goal to producing high quality and bold entertainment programming,” said Steve Stark, MGM’s President, Television Development and Production. “The Heart Goes Last is another compelling and surprising work of speculative fiction that only Margaret Atwood can bring to life in her signature provocative style.

“Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.”

The Handmaid’s Tale, possibly my favorite speculative dystopic sci-fi feminist book of all time, is becoming a television show for Hulu and will star Elisabeth Moss of Get Him to the Greek and Girl, Interrupted, and Mad Men, as Offred, the heroine. The story takes place after an Old Testament-style revolution overthrows the United States and transforms it into a militarized, hierarchical, ultra-religious theocracy where a Children of Men style sterility is on the rise. Offred is one of many Handmaids, fertile young women kept as servants for reproductive purposes only. Most women are devoid of any rights and even forbidden to read.

Offred remembers life before the Sons of Jacob destroyed the United States as we know it, and uses that knowledge to fight against the oppression in small, quiet ways. Her life, and the lives of all Handmaids are in terrible danger, and one small slip up could bring about the end of her secret revolution.

Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, and Samira Wiley will also star in the new series, set to debut on Hulu in 2017, and Atwood will be a consulting producer for the series, which guarantees that it will be done right!

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