June has come a long way since the first season of The Handmaid’s Tale. And now that Season 4 is all wrapped up, it’s time to start counting the days until The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 premieres on Hulu when we finally find out what’s to come for June, her friends, and of course, Serena. Hulu has renewed the show for another season, and it likely won’t even be its last. Showrunner Bruce Miller told The Hollywood Reporter in 2020 that while the coronavirus pandemic was a good pause to think about the future of The Handmaid’s Tale and where to take it, he’s definitely carrying it on for as long as possible. He said, “Every time I come upon a season, I don’t know what we’re going to do. And every time we get to the end, I’m thrilled and feel like we could go on forever and ever. I’m so excited by how crazy the [Season 4] story is. As long as Lizzie [Moss] will do this with me, I’ll keep going.”
He added that he’s still unsure of how the show will end — when it eventually does. “So I know where I am in the story, and I do feel like we’re 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,” Miller said.
With all of that in mind, here’s everything we know about The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5.
Who’s in The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 cast?
Of course, Elisabeth Moss will return as June, along with most all of the other major cast members. That means Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy Waterford, Alexis Bledel as Emily, Madeline Brewer as Janine, Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia, O-T Fagbenle as Luke, Max Minghella as Nick, Samira Wiley as Moira, Bradley Whitford as Commander Lawrence, Amanda Brugel as Rita, and Sam Jaeger as Mark Tuello are all set to return.
So are some new additions to the cast, including McKenna Grace (Young Sheldon, Fuller House) as Esther Keyes and Zawe Ashton (Wanderlust, Greta) as Oona. Also, just because he’s dead and gone doesn’t mean that Joseph Fiennes won’t be returning for some flashback scenes to round out the story fully. Miller told Entertainment Weekly, “I think we’ll see Fred again. I mean, I would die if I didn’t see Joe [Fiennes] again. He’s the most lovely man, generous actor, such a professional. He is the nicest man stuck playing the most horrible person. I think at the end of every season, he shaves that beard off quite quickly. He’s an absolutely lovely man whose two adorable little daughters both call me sir. So he’s 100 percent in my book.”
What is the Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 release date?
Hulu announced that it was renewing Season 5 back in December 2020, while Season 4 production was still in full effect —and delayed due to COVID-19. Season 4 finally premiered in April 2021, which means it’s unlikely that Season 5 was already underway. People are busy! And we’re still in a pandemic. Miller said as much in June 2021 when he told Deadline that he was still “gathering” the actors to get things rolling. Due to their other filming schedules and COVID restrictions, likely, the show won’t return until sometime late in 2022.
Will this be the last season?
As Miller has hinted, he’s content to keep exploring the story as long as Moss stays involved. However, Jordan Helman, Head of Scripted Originals at Hulu, suggested to Deadline that the end of The Handmaid’s Tale is intrinsically linked to a possibly Handmaid’s spinoff. “The conversation around The Testaments is tied to conversations around The Handmaid’s Tale. Margaret Atwood’s work has been an incredibly important brand signifier for us at Hulu, and so what we want to do is ensure that we introduce the world of The Testaments in a way that feels organic to the work that has already been done on the platform,” Helman explained. “The birth of The Testaments on Hulu and the eventual end of The Handmaid’s Tale are related; we’re figuring that out as we speak.”
Published in 2019, The Testaments is Atwood’s follow-up to the dystopian world of Gilead 15 years later as told through the lens of three women: a young girl named Agnes who refuses her parents’ insistence that she marry a powerful Commander; a Canadian girl named Daisy repulsed by the very idea of Gilead; and Aunt Lydia. Yep, Aunt Lydia.
Are there any Season 5 spoilers?
With the showrunner still gathering actors and figuring out what’s next for June and the rest of the characters, it’s hard to tell where Season 5 will take us. That said, fans didn’t get to see Serena’s reaction to her husband’s murder, so we’ll likely watch her process that and know that June was behind it.
There’s also Gilead to contend with, though things will likely change given that Fred was already on the outs and spilling the beans. In any case, June’s journey will be front and center, as Miller told EW in the same interview: “The story moving forward is about the long fight, and how do you keep up energy, enthusiasm, sanity, all of those things, while you’re trying to fight for something that you may never see the end of, or you may never see the good from it? It may all be just for your children or your children’s children. How do you keep those fights worthy? So I think that for June, it’s the integration of June the warrior and Offred the warrior, into June the mother and Offred the mother.”
Another potentially interesting development? In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Dowd (aka Aunt Lydia) hinted that there are big changes on the horizon for the militant matriarch figure. “There are a lot of ways that Lydia is shifting, and they’re powerful,” she said.
Whenever The Handmaid’s Tale returns for Season 5, it is sure to be as wild a ride as always.
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