Some good news for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale: the Hulu hit series is officially returning for a fifth season. While the show’s fourth season just premiered last week, viewers will be relieved to know that there’s more to come after this new set of 10 episodes.
Though the next instalment probably won’t be released until 2022, we’ve started to gather what we know so far about The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5. Watch this space for updates.
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The cast announced The Handmaid’s Tale renewal on Instagram.
In an Instagram video featuring a plethora of cast members, including Elisabeth Moss, Alexis Bledel, Joseph Fiennes, Max Minghella, Samira Wiley, Ann Dowd, Bradley Whitford, Madeline Brewer, Yvonne Strahovski, O. T. Fagbenle, Amanda Brugel, and Sam Jaeger, it was announced that The Handmaid’s Tale has officially been renewed for a fifth season on Hulu. The caption explained, “✨The cast has a special message for you ✨Season 4 returns in 2021 …oh and praise be, we’ve also been renewed for Season 5! #HandmaidsTale.”
“I’m also thrilled to announce that we’ve been picked up for Season 5,” Moss revealed in the video. “It’s my privilege and honor to tell this story. … It’s going to be a wild ride.”
Creator and showrunner Bruce Miller said, via The Hollywood Reporter, “We’re very grateful to Hulu and MGM that the show will be returning for a fifth season, and especially to our loyal fans for their support … We are thrilled to be able to continue to tell these stories, with our incredible cast and crew, and can’t wait to be back on the air with season four next year.”
It’s unclear whether this is the final season.
Miller told The Hollywood Reporter that the show is about to reach a “pivot point” with the next chapter of The Handmaid’s Tale. But when asked whether Season 5 would be the series’ last, he said in December 2020, “I have to say I would have had very different ideas before the pandemic. I mean, we talked about it, and Lizzie [Elisabeth Moss] and I have talked about it, and the writing staff and I have talked about it extensively about where we’re going precisely, but I do feel like after this year, it’s a good time to reassess.”
He added, “So I know where I am in the story, and I do feel like we’re kind of reaching kind of a pivot point, but whether that’s the end or not, I don’t know. It just feels like it’s a good time to reassess what you were thinking, just because the story world has opened up because the real world has changed so much.”
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There’s “a lot of life” in the story.
Speaking at a Television Critics Association panel in February, Miller admitted that he didn’t actually see an ending for The Handmaid’s Tale, Deadline reported. “As long as Lizzie will do this with me, I’ll keep going,” he joked. “There’s a lot of life in this story.”
He also referenced what role The Testaments, Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s sequel, could play on-screen. “I’m certainly fascinated by what happens in The Testaments and if that’s going to be part of our future, that’s a bigger question,” he added.
June wants to “bring the whole system down.”
Spoiler warning! After leading a fatal attack on Commander Fred Waterford in the Season 4 finale, June still has unfinished business.
“At this point, I think she’s all in. She is all in,” Moss told The Hollywood Reporter. “She wants to bring the whole system down, and with that would come saving Hannah [her daughter], saving Janine [her fellow handmaid] and the proper revenge on Serena.”
It’s also unclear if June will be able to “snap back” after killing Fred. “It’s the American story – can we snap back to normal, or do we have to move on into something new? And that’s where June is right now,” Miller told Entertainment Weekly. “She’s done this terrible thing, or what she feels like is irredeemable. Can she snap back? Or does she have to decide that sometimes you not only have to sacrifice part of your life, but you have to sacrifice your whole life to making the world better for the next generation?”
Serena could either thrive in Canada or become a handmaid.
When Season 4 ends, Serena (Strahovski) still doesn’t know that her husband has died—we’ll just have to wait for the next season for that reaction. As for where else her story could go, Strahovski, who still doesn’t know what the writers have planned for her character, imagines that things could go really well or really badly.
“[The] most obvious thing that would be pretty fun to play out would be if Serena did get sent back to Gilead and become a handmaid because she’s now a fertile woman, and how she would handle that, especially if it’s a particularly abusive situation and it echoes June’s journey, or not,” she tells BAZAAR.com. But Strahovski thinks that route might be too obvious.
“It makes more sense to me to do the more infuriating thing—infuriating to the fans—and that she actually finds success outside of the detention centre in Canada in the way of politics or becoming some kind of spokeswoman, picking up where she left off pre-Gilead: writing a book, getting a following, becoming the female president of Canada, I don’t know,” she adds with a laugh.
Watch this space for further updates!
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.