For those mourning the end of The Handmaid’s Tale (and while we wait for season two), we bring you great news: there’s another Margaret Atwood TV series Adaptation about to arrive on Netflix. And this time, the setting moves from an unsettling dystopia to a take on historical fiction. Netflix is adapting Atwood’s award-winning novel Alias Grace into a six-episode miniseries starring actress Sarah Gadon as the titular Grace Marks, a poor Irish servant in the 1840s in Canada who finds herself convicted of brutal murders – without memory of why.
Along with stable hand James McDermott, she was convicted of the brutal murders of Thomas Kinnear, who employed them both, and his housekeeper and lover, Nancy Montgomery.
Atwood based her novel on real life events – we won’t spoil all the plot points for those who haven’t read the book – and created fiction around them. But was Grace a murderer or in the wrong place at the wrong time? That is what has always been debated. The author is involved with the adaptation once again, and as she did with The Handmaid’s Tale, will have a cameo.
In the short clip below, Graces muses over what has been written about her in the press; one side convinced she is an inhuman monster and the other an innocent victim, precisely what Atwood was making a point about in the novel – how society and the media treat men and women differently.
“When there are crimes of violence involving both a man and a woman, it usually goes as follows: nobody ever says the man is a nice guy, but opinion often splits about the woman,” Atwood told The Guardian. “Either she’s the villainous instigator of it all, or else she’s a terrified victim and she only did it because she was frightened for her life. That’s the pattern with Grace. And there’s evidence supporting both sides.”
The series has an impressive cast: Edward Holcroft, Zachary Levi, and True Blood‘s Anna Paquin co-star in the six part mini-series, with a female creative team producing – Sarah Polley has written the script and Mary Harron (of American Psycho) will take the directing reigns.
The series doesn’t land until November 3rd, but while you wait, the trailer is below and you have ample time to read the book: