Fans of The Handmaid’s Tale got a taste of what the origins of a dystopian future must feel like when Covid-19 emerged and, among many other distressing circumstances, halted production on many film and TV projects, including the Emmy-winning series starring Elisabeth Moss and based on Margaret Atwood’s groundbreaking novel. Well, blessed be to the showrunner Bruce Miller and the makers of the Hulu original for resisting the pandemic and eventually bringing The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 closer to its official premiere.
After a relatively divisive third season of this bold parable set in an oppressive patriarchal society, fans are eager see the story of June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) and her sacrificial struggle escaping Gilead to finally continue. However, there are still plenty of details that remain shrouded in mystery.
Fortunately, there is even more information regarding Season 4 of The Handmaid’s Tale that we can talk about, including the confirmed premiere date. The following is a convenient breakdown of eight essential facts we know about the series’ highly anticipated return to Hulu, starting with the moment cameras began rolling again.
The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Resumed Production In September 2020
After only two weeks from when filming its fourth season began in Toronto, Canada, The Handmaid’s Tale was forced to shut down amid reports that the outbreak of Covid-19 had spread globally in March 2020. Five months later, the series’ stars began dropping hints that production was about to resume and, by early September, Season 4 was officially back on. The news ensured that the hit show was, indeed, on track to making its new, projected release, which, among other exciting updates, had been announced previously.
Season 4 Of The Handmaid’s Tale Will Premiere In April 2021
Before the pandemic, the original plan for Season 4 was to wrap up shooting in August of 2020 and be available to stream on Hulu by the following fall. With production halted until that September, The Handmaid’s Tale was then scheduled to drop in 2021, sometime around the spring or summer. In February 2021, Hulu announced that the first three chapters of the 10-episode fourth season will premiere on Wednesday, April 28, 2021.
We Have Already Caught A Glimpse Of The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4
In the summer of 2020, Hulu released the first official trailer for Season 4 of The Handmaid’s Tale that was apparently compiled from footage of the first two weeks of production before the shut down. The roughly 90-second teaser sees Elisabeth Moss’ June, after suffering a gunshot as the children she rescued fly away to Canada, carried to safety by a group of handmaids and also shows the Gilead refugees making it to the Great White North at the end of Season 3. As any good teaser does, of course, it still left fans with plenty to speculate over while waiting for the premiere, but at least let us know who we can expect to see onscreen.
In February 2021, in addition to announcing the premiere date, Hulu also released a new Handmaid's Tale Season 4 trailer, which you can watch here.
June Will Strike Against Gilead As A "Fierce Rebel Leader" In The Handmaid's Tale Season 4
Along with Hulu's official announcement of when The Handmaid's Tale would return came an even deeper glimpse into what there is to expect in Season 4. The platform's February 2021 press release teased that Elisabeth Moss' June Osborne will be subjected to some of her most dangerous challenges yet as she emerges as a "fierce rebel leader" in the fight against Gilead. However, she also runs the risk of allowing herself to be consumed with a craving for vengeance that may put her odds with even those she holds dear.
Elisabeth Moss, Bradley Whitford, And More Handmaid’s Tale Cast Members Will Return In Season 4
As previously mentioned, Emmy-winner Elisabeth Moss will reprise her lead role on The Handmaid’s Tale and is even making her directorial debut with the series by helming three episodes from the upcoming season. O.T. Fagbenle is also coming back as June’s husband, Luke, and other longstanding “favorites” Joseph Fiennes as Fred Waterford, Yvonne Strahovski as his wife Serena, and Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia. Samira Wiley, Alexis Bledel, Sam Jaeger, and Bradley Whitford are also among the cast members confirmed for a fourth season return.
McKenna Grace Will Appear On The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4
Elisabeth Moss and co. are also welcoming in a newcomer as McKenna Grace joins the cast this season. The busy 14-year-old actress (best known for playing central characters’ younger selves in The Haunting of Hill House, Captain Marvel, I, Tonya, and more) will make her Handmaid’s Tale debut as Mrs. Keyes - the teenage spouse of a “much older commander” as Deadline’s exclusive report describes. Grace will also join the legacy of another pop culture phenomenon in 2021 when she appears in Ghostbusters Afterlife, which also was meant to come out in 2020.
Season 5 Of The Handmaid’s Tale Has Already Been Renewed
Speaking of the production delay, some time after production of Season 4 was finally back on track, The Handmaid’s Tale received a fifth season renewal on Hulu. The news broke out in December 2020 during Disney’s Investor Day presentation for that year, followed by a video featuring cast members expressing their delight over the announcement. The Season 5 renewal is a little premature given that we're still waiting for Season 4 to air, but that at least means there is plenty for fans of the series of the look forward to.
A Handmaid’s Tale Spin-off Is Also In The Works
In September 2019, not long after the release of its third season, a new show set in the world of The Handmaid’s Tale was greenlit. The spin-off will reportedly take inspiration from The Testaments - Margaret Atwood’s sequel to her novel that the Hulu series is based which show Gilead from the perspective of three different women (including Aunt Lydia) 15 years later. The book would actually be released a full 34 years after its 1985 predecessor, while Hulu would announce the adaptation just weeks before it hit the shelves.
What do you think? With Season 4 on its way in April, a fifth season already intended to follow it soon after, and a forthcoming sequel series on top of that, has there ever been a better time to be a fan of The Handmaid’s Tale, or has this overwhelming swarm of new updates only added to fatigue that many experienced after Season 3? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back for additional information and updates on the long-awaited return of this brutal, brilliant dystopian social commentary, as well as even more insight into what is premiering or returning to television or on streaming, here on CinemaBlend.
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Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.