The Handmaid's Tale Creator On The Sixth And Final Season, Plus Plans For Spinoff The Testaments

Those of us with a Hulu subscription will know that we’re currently wrapping up the fifth season of The Handmaid’s Tale. The dystopian drama has been a wild ride full of new characters, the streaming service has already announced that Season 6 will be its last. Luckily plans already coming together for another series set in Gilead, based off Margaret Atwood’s sequel novel. And The Handmaids’ Tale creator Bruce Miller recently spoke about the show’s final season, plan for the spinoff The Testaments.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 will wrap up this Wednesday with the upcoming finale episode “Safe.” Ahead of the finale Bruce Miller spoke with Deadline all about that episode, and the future of the series. When asked about how the show is approaching it’s upcoming series finale and its connection with The Testaments, Miller offered a peek behind the curtain, saying:

Well, I’m working on The Testaments while I’m working on Season 6 of The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s so lovely to have another book to go to. I think the people watch the TV show have to be comfortable with the fact that just like Handmaid’s didn’t follow the book, The Testaments is a sequel to this TV show. So I’m not necessarily shooting for those things the way that they are in The Testaments but everybody is growing in those directions. Margaret [Atwood] and I had lots of conversations about the character [of June]. She watched some of the show before she even started to write The Testaments. I think that the characters have a lot of similarities, which is wonderful—and they are definitely falling into place for The Testaments.

Well, this is intriguing. It sounds like the Testaments series won’t exactly be a carbon copy of Margaret Atwood’s 2019 novel of the same name. Perhaps this should be expected, as Handmaid’s Tale has taken plenty of liberties and made changes to the book. And this should hopefully allow even the most well-read fans to be surprised by the spinoff’s contents.

Bruce Miller’s comments to Deadline show how methodically he and the folks at The Handmaid’s Tale are approaching their work on the Emmy-winning drama. Because while Season 5 is only just coming to an end, the plans are already coming together for Season 6, as well as the spinoff. And smart money says there’s going to be plenty of set-up for The Testaments throughout the original show’s final season on Hulu.

The Testaments novel is told by three distinct narrators: Aunt Lydia, Baby Nichole who grew up in Toronto, and Hannah aka Agnes who grew up in Gilead. And as such, some fans are wondering how the Handmaid’s Tale show will handle June’s ending, and if it’ll play out similarly to the novels. Bruce Miller addressed this in the same interview, saying: 

But for June, I don’t feel an allegiance to wrap her up the way she’s wrapped up in The Testaments novel. I just want to follow the story and make sure it makes sense. But the thing that you should remember is that all the voiceover we’re hearing, this story is June story. It’s not called Gilead, it’s The Handmaid’s Tale. I certainly have been thinking of the show as a memoir of part of June’s life, not the part where she would consider herself a handmaid. I think that in the end, just like before we started the show, they had lives. She’s gonna go on and and continue on in whatever way she continues on and we’re not going to see it. And because we got to see this part so intimately, I feel like you care about what happens to her next, but that’s not this tale.

Well, I’m definitely intrigued. It sounds like Bruce Miller and company will continue making the universe created by Margaret Atwood into their own for the final season of The Handmaid’s Tale. And they’ve clearly got a stong plans regarding how to end the story of Elisabeth Moss’ title character. Will she ever actually get to reunite with her daughter Hannah? Only time will tell, but seeing that character return in Season 5 was a thrilling experience.

It’s currently unclear when The Handmaid’s Tale will release its final season, or when we should expect to return to Gilead with The Testaments. There are understandably a ton of questions about the new series, including whether or not Ann Dowd will be back as Aunt Lydia. But smart money says we’ll have to wait quite some time before getting any real information. Luckily we can re-watch the first five seasons to keep us occupied. And in the meantime, check out the TV premiere list to plan your next binge watch.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.