Hulu already eyeing adaptation of Atwood's 'Handmaid's Tale' sequel

Margaret Atwood's sequel to her 1985 novel "The Handmaid's Tale" is set for release Sept. 10. (Random House)

Margaret Atwood’s long-awaited sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale” is not even in bookstores yet, but producers of the Hulu series based on the original novel are already in talks to bring it to the screen in some form.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Hulu and MGM TV are working with “The Handmaid’s Tale” showrunner Bruce Miller to see how “The Testaments,” scheduled for release next week, can “serve as an extension of the show.”

It is not yet clear exactly what form that would take, but the Hulu adaptation of Atwood’s 1985 novel starring Elisabeth Moss has already moved far beyond the end of the book’s narrative in its first three seasons. Atwood suggested to Entertainment Weekly characters from “The Testaments,” which is set 15 years after the first book, could be worked into the show in future seasons.

“The story of the characters in the show at the moment is left open, so it’s up to Bruce and the highly competent writing team as to how they get those people into position,” she said.

Time, which featured Atwood on this week’s cover, reported “The Testaments” follows two new characters—one young woman living in the misogynistic dystopia of Gilead and a teen living free in Canada—and Aunt Lydia, a villainous character from the first novel played by Ann Dowd in the Hulu series.

Hulu and MGM executives praised Atwood’s work, though they offered few details regarding their plans for the new book.

“She has been an incredible creative partner and resource to MGM throughout the production of Handmaid’s and we look forward to working with her on the story’s exciting next chapter,” Steve Stark, MGM’s president of television production, said in a statement.

Hulu has already ordered a fourth season of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” “The Testaments,” hitting stores September 10, has been shortlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize for Fiction.