Hot on the heels of Hulu’s success with the adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s seminal dystopia, The Handmaid’s Tale, Netflix is jumping on the Atwood bandwagon with a release of its own. It’s now been a little more than a year since news first broke that Sarah Polley (“Away From Her,” “Stories We Tell”) was teaming with the CBC and Netflix to produce a miniseries based on Atwood’s Alias Grace. With “Alias Grace” set to premiere on November 3, Netflix and the CBC have released the first teaser trailer.
Atwood’s 1996 novel is inspired by the real-life double murder of a man named Thomas Kinnear and his mistress and housekeeper, Nancy Montgomery. The miniseries, like the historical fiction novel it adapts, will center on Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), a young Irish immigrant employed by Kinnear as domestic help in Upper Canada in the 1840s. Marks, along with a stable hand named James McDermott (Kerr Logan), were convicted of the murders of Kinnear and Montgomery in 1843. McDermott was hanged, while Marks was sentenced to life in prison. As a result of the infamous double murder, Marks became one of the most notorious women in Canada at the time. Her conviction, which was controversial even then, has been hotly debated with lingering questions over whether Marks was indeed involved in the murder or simply an unwitting accomplice.
“Alias Grace,” written and produced by Sarah Polley and directed by Mary Harron (“American Psycho,” “The Notorious Bettie Page”), will premiere in Canada on CBC and will stream globally on Netflix on November 3.