Blessed be the fruit… Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale starring Elisabeth Moss and Alexis Bledel has been renewed for a fourth season, following a heart-stopping cliffhanger at the end of season three.
Here’s everything you need to know about The Handmaid’s Tale season four…
When is The Handmaid’s Tale season four on TV?
The show was renewed for a fourth season in July 2019, but an exact premiere date for the next series is yet to be announced. However, according to TV Guide, executive producer Warren Littlefield has confirmed that the fourth season will begin sometime in Autumn 2020 – but of course, the coronavirus pandemic may push that date back.
What is going to happen in The Handmaid’s Tale season four?
Inspired by Margaret Atwood’s novel of the same name, the series is set in a dystopian future version of the United States and centres around Gilead, a totalitarian society where fertility rates have plummeted and fertile women are forced to become “handmaids” and bear children for Gilead’s leaders.
*Warning: spoilers ahead for The Handmaid’s Tale season three*
At the end of season three, June (Elisabeth Moss) managed to help a group of children escape Gilead by plane, but was seriously wounded in the process and was carried away by her fellow handmaids at the end of the final episode.
Serena Joy also conned her husband Fred Waterford into travelling to Canada, to be charged for war crimes — but he in turn also exposed his wife’s crimes (and in the process revealed that Nichole isn’t his biological daughter, her real father is Nick).
Season four will likely continue to follow the rising resistance in Gilead, while also delving into the fall-out for the Waterfords.
Series creator Bruce Miller also appeared to hint at a potentially unhappy fate for heroine June. Speaking to TV Guide, he said: “All the people in Toronto are showing us what June has waiting for her if she does ever get out. You’re kind of telling those stories of possible routes for June, but it’s not all going to be sunshine and lollipops.
“We are following June, and June lives in Gilead, and Gilead is not a nice place. And it will continue to be not a nice place. And we try to be very realistic about what would probably happen and how things work.”
Will season four be the final series of The Handmaid’s Tale?
Speaking at the Television Critics Association press tour, executive producer Warren Littlefield implied that several more seasons of The Handmaid’s Tale could be on the way.
“We have not planned Season 4 to be the end, but we also look to Margaret [Atwood]’s book The Testaments and know that that story takes us 15 years into the future,” he told TV Guide. “We don’t see ending it in [Season 4], and I can honestly say to you, we don’t have a definitive out. But I think we want to keep the bar high, and it would not be a bad thing to leave the audience wanting more and then we could ideally shift into The Testaments.”
Who stars in The Handmaid’s Tale season four?
It’s not yet confirmed who from the original cast will return — particularly after it appeared that June’s life was hanging in the balance at the end of season three — but it seems likely that we’ll see central cast members reprise their roles, including Yvonne Strahovski, Alexis Bledel and Joseph Fiennes.
Why are there delays to The Handmaid’s Tale season four?
While many might have hoped for a summer release, it’s now not looking likely that season four will air until later this year.
Speaking to Digital Spy about the delay, Elisabeth Moss revealed: “Part of the reason why it’s taken a little bit longer, besides just timing, is that we are making it a bit of a bigger season this year. We’re really stretching the limits of our capabilities, production wise, and we’re on the move a lot.”
She added: “We’re not sitting in a studio between four walls very much, so it really is a bigger season and that’s taken a little [longer]. I’ve been in Toronto since mid-January prepping.”