Margaret Atwood is one of the most widely-read and widely-praised authors of our time. Yet, despite the interesting worlds of social science-fiction her novels provide, none of them has ever received a proper screen adaptation. But it seems like now her work is getting the adaptation it deserves: Atwood's futuristic trilogy MaddAddam may get a series over at HBO.
The series is currently in development and it has a lot of positive potential. The depth of its subject matter will work well in a series: The MaddAddam series includes Atwood's books Oryx and Crake, Year of the Flood, and MaddAddam, which follow characters after a pandemic wipes out most of the human population in an already dystopian world where multinational corporations hold all the power and genetic modification runs rampant. And there's good names attached to the project: Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky is already executive producing the series and will potentially direct it, as well. Best of all, the project has Atwood's blessing — she's serving as a consulting producer.
Previous adaptations of Atwood's work haven't been so promising. The adaptation of one of her most famous works, The Handmaid's Tale , was almost universally panned. The screenplay was apparently subjected to so many Frankenstein edits that screenwriter Harold Pinter refused to be associated with it. Otherwise, all other projects associated with Atwood's work have been small: there's been The Atwood Stories, a television miniseries based on some of her short stories; Payback, a documentary film that explores some of the concepts in Atwood's book of the same name; and a wildly unsuccessful film adaptation of Surfacing .
Not only is it well past time for Atwood's work to get a decent adaptation, but dystopian futures through a feminist lens continue to gain popularity. First The Hunger Games, then Divergent, now MaddAddam. With HBO's success with building out worlds from novels in Game of Thrones, the complexities of the new dystopian world presented in the MaddAddam trilogy will no doubt translate well to the series.
And with Atwood's literary popularity, the MaddAddam series could become just as popular.