The Power: Everything We Know So Far About The Feminist Sci-Fi Series Starring Toni Collette

As our present-day dystopia grows increasingly dire, the more relevant speculative science fiction becomes. We've seen it before with Kathryn Bigelow's "Strange Days," a near-30-year-old film that effectively predicted the rise of voyeurism in social media and a growing police state in the U.S. We've also seen it more recently with "The Handmaid's Tale," a 1980s novel that felt less like a "what if" and more like a warning. For all its terrifying predictions, "The Handmaid's Tale" became a proper phenomenon when Hulu adapted it into a series in 2017. Success like that isn't easy to replicate, but competitors have certainly been making the effort. Amazon Studios is the latest streamer to bring a similar story to the fore, adapting "The Power" as a series starring Toni Collette. Given that's it's also based on a work of speculative sci-fi, there's already a bit of buzz about this project. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Prime Video series.

What is The Power about?

"The Power" is based on Naomi Alderman's dystopian novel of the same name. Released in 2016, her prescient work introduces an empowering twist to our contemporary world: What if young women around the world suddenly developed the ability to harness electrical currents, to shock and electrocute people (cough, men) at will? The balance of power is rewritten overnight, and for the first time, those who've systemically sat at the top of the social hierarchy suddenly themselves slipping towards the bottom.

Alderman's novel follows a handful of main characters across the globe. There's Margot Cleary-Lopez, a well-meaning, middle-aged politician; Allie, an abused foster child in the U.S. South; Roxy, the daughter of an English crime boss; Tatiana, a former gymnast and wife to an eastern European dictator; and Tunde, an aspiring journalist (and one of just a few men at the center of the story) that makes a career out of documenting the Power. All four will appear in the TV series — which Alderman adapted for the screen — and are joined by a few more recurring characters: Margot's daughter, Jo, her supportive husband Rob Lopez, and her political rival in Governor Daniel Dandon.

Everything we know about the Power cast and crew

"The Power" was one of the first projects affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Back when the series entered production in February 2020, Leslie Mann had been attached to play Margot. Toni Collette ("Hereditary," "Knives Out") replaced Mann after the latter exited the project. Auli'i Cravalho ("Moana," "Crush") is playing Margot's daughter Jo, and John Leguizamo is playing Rob. Elsewhere, Josh Charles ("The Good Wife") is playing Governor Dandon, and Toheeb Jimoh ("Ted Lasso") will appear as Tunde. As for the rest of the cast, Halle Bush is co-starring as Allie, Ria Zmitrowicz is playing Roxy, and Zrinka Cvitešić will appear as Tatiana.

"When we were shooting, they showed us a teaser trailer cut together," Collette recalled, speaking to Vanity Fair as part of its first-look feature for the show. "It's so incredibly cinematic, but I also found it so moving because seeing such a diverse range of female actors on screen was just so unusual. And it's a story about women having agency, feeling safe and confident, and having some sense of sovereignty, so it's very empowering to be a part of and to watch."

The Power's all-female crew

With all the matriarchal themes at play in "The Power," it makes sense that the crew behind-the-scenes are led by women in kind. Raelle Tucker ("Jessica Jones") served as showrunner for the series. "The Power" is also being produced by Sister, a production company founded by Jane Featherstone. In addition to Alderman, the writers' room for the series is refreshingly all female, and the directors tapped to helm the 10-episode first season were all women as well.

Toni Collette commented on the show's all-female crew while talking to Vanity Fair, stating that it "contributed so much in terms of vision and collaborating, truly collaborating" on the series. She added that this was especially useful for her; by the time she joined the series later in its development, there was already a clear artistic vision for the show in place, yet still enough flex room for her to bring her own creative input to the table.

When and where you can watch The Power

Since "The Power" will be distributed by Prime Video, we know it will eventually premiere on the streaming platform. Unfortunately, Prime have yet to announce a release date for the series. But with first look images already out in the world, there's a chance that a teaser (and, of course, an announcement) won't be too far behind.

Whenever it arrives, Toni Collette suspects "The Power" will have only become more relevant. "The story entertains the idea of global change via a particular kind of power that evolves and presents in young women, so it is a very, very big far-reaching story," she explained to Vanity Fair, likening it to the ways in which the pandemic has very quickly (and very dramatically) flipped the world on its head since 2020. "I believe that we're all connected, but something like that really just kind of physicalized it."