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The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5: 6 Quick Things We Know About The Series

Since its debut in April 2017, The Handmaid’s Tale has been not just one of the best Hulu shows but one of the most beloved and critically-acclaimed series on TV and streaming. Set in the dystopian Gilead, the sprawling and oftentimes unnerving story of June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) has taken many twists and turns over the course of the show's first few chapters, including The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 ending which set in motion plans for another that will potentially take the show into its endgame.

Below, we have included a list of six quick things we know about The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5, including some of the returning cast, what we can expect from the hit Hulu series, and what’s next for the franchise based on Margaret Atwood’s literary work.

The Handmaid's Tale cast

(Image credit: Hulu)

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Was Given The Green Light Before The Fourth Season Even Premiered

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 started up in April 2021, but before longtime fans of the award-winning drama series even got a chance to see how June Osborne’s story would pick up, they were given great news about the show’s future. In December 2020, Hulu announced The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 and revealed the news through a video that featured some familiar faces:

The video, which features prominent members of The Handmaid’s Tale cast, is light on specifics about the upcoming fifth season (remember, Season 4 was still months away at that point in time), but it did end with a little teaser of things to come, with star Elisabeth Moss saying it’s going to be a “wild ride.”

The Handmaid's Tale cast

(Image credit: Hulu)

Elisabeth Moss, Yvonne Strahovski And Ann Dowd Will Be Back For The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5

Although Hulu has yet to announce the full cast for The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5, some of the biggest stars of the show have confirmed their involvement during various interviews since the conclusion of the gut-wrenching fourth season.

When chatting with Elle after The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 concluded, Elisabeth Moss appeared to confirm her involvement (it’s hard to imagine the show without her) when she said she knew the themes of the upcoming season even though she didn’t really know what was supposed to happen to her character and everyone else involved.

Yvonne Strahovski’s character, Serena, went through quite a journey throughout the show’s most recent chapter. In a 2021 interview with Variety’s “Award Circuit” podcast, the Tomorrow War star explained that her character could be living in fear going into Season 5 for multiple reasons, ranging from June Osborne coming for her baby or worse, being sent back to Gilead. Then, in June 2021, Ann Dowd, who has dominated much of the series as Aunt Lydia, told The Hollywood Reporter her character will be “shifting” following the events of the past two seasons.

Elisabeth Moss on The Handmaid's Tale

(Image credit: Hulu)

Showrunner Bruce Miller Has Called The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 A ‘Pivot Point’ For The Hulu Series

There has long been uncertainty surrounding The Handmaid’s Tale in terms of when it will be ending. And, while nothing has been confirmed about Season 5 being the end the road for lauded series, showrunner Bruce Miller admitted in a 2022 interview with The Hollywood Reporter that the show is reaching its “pivot point” after thinking about a number of different ideas throughout the pandemic:

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.

This could very well mean that we’re approaching the endgame for The Handmaid’s Tale, though it’s not entirely clear how long that will take. When speaking with ET Canada in January 2022, Ann Dowd talked a little about the series and said there were “two seasons” left, but again, nothing has been made official.

Elisabeth Moss in The Handmaid's Tale.

(Image credit: Hulu)

Bruce Miller Has Since Described The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 As ‘Sophie’s Choice: The Series’

Not long after the The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 ending premiered, showrunner Bruce Miller sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss the show’s future, especially what we can expect to see go down when the series picks back up with its fifth season. He didn’t go into great detail about June’s story (or any of the other characters), but Miller compared it to the novel (and later drama starring Meryl Streep) Sophie’s Choice, which featured characters who survived concentration camps:

Well, it's definitely Sophie's Choice: The Series, in that you're moving on with someone who's made these terrible choices. And unlike a movie version, we know what her choices were; we're in her pain and her trauma.

Bruce Miller also said the show is now about June Osborne and how she’s at a bit of a crossroads between going back to the way she used to be or continuing on the path that will see her sacrifice everything to make the world a better place.

Elisabeth Moss in The Handmaid's Tale

(Image credit: Hulu)

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Is Expected To Enter Production In January 2022

Hulu has not yet announced when The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 will enter production, but there’s a good chance cameras could start rolling in the very near future. When chatting with RadioTimes in early 2022, Ann Dowd was asked when filming was set to kick off, to which she replied by saying the end of January. Again, nothing has been confirmed about an official start date, but make sure to keep checking back for the latest information.

Ann Dowd on The Handmaid's Tale

(Image credit: Hulu)

Hulu Is Also Adapting Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale Sequel Series, The Testaments

Not long after Margaret Atwood’s novel The Testaments was published, Hulu was quick to pick up the rights. In January 2022, Hulu’s Craig Erwich released a statement (via ET Online) where he said he was “thrilled” that the streamer had the rights to the novel and could weave it into the show’s universe. For those not familiar, the novel is set 15 years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale and largely follows Aunt Lydia, a character who has become somewhat of a sympathetic character in recent seasons.

In April 2021, showrunner Bruce Miller spoke at a press event attended by CinemaBlend where he said he was fascinated by what happens in The Testaments and that it would be part of the franchise’s future. However, he didn’t share any details about how that process is coming along.

Expect to hear more about The Testaments and The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, check out the questions we have about the show’s fifth season as well as a rundown of all the new and returning shows on our schedule of all the 2022 TV premiere dates.

Philip Sledge
Philip Sledge

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.