Fans of The Handmaid's Tale have plenty of time to binge the show before the new season drops. Though Hulu released its trailer for season 4, new episodes aren't set to premiere until 2021. Naturally, the last season ended on a cliffhanger with (spoiler alert, really) Elisabeth Moss's character, June, suffering a gunshot wound. As the handmaid revolution rages on, however, fans don't know what to expect. Without tips or a book to go off of, anything can happen and, if June's voice-over in the trailer is any indication, the only thing certain is that the road ahead isn't easy for anyone, Handmaid or not.
"I can't rest," June says. "Change never comes easy. This war isn't going to win itself."
What does The Handmaid’s Tale season 4 trailer reveal?
Fans noticed that the new trailer is mostly a mashup of clips from previous seasons, so it's tough to find any clues to the fate of Gilead and June.
Hulu's official teaser summary goes a little something like this:
"In the 10-episode upcoming season, June (Elisabeth Moss) strikes back against Gilead as a fierce rebel leader, but the risks she takes bring unexpected and dangerous new challenges. Her quest for justice and revenge threatens to consume her and destroy her most cherished relationships. The cultural phenomenon picks up where we left off, with June’s fight for freedom against Gilead. But the risks she takes bring unexpected and dangerous new challenges, and her desire for justice and revenge threaten to consume her and destroy her most cherished relationships."
When is The Handmaid’s Tale coming back?
Hulu doesn't have an official premiere date just yet but did say that the show would return in 2021. While many expected the show to follow its usual release timeline, the coronavirus pandemic put things on hold. Instead of the expected fall 2020, Hulu pushed the date to April 28, 2021.
"We were only two weeks in, so we actually have an entire season to shoot. We want to go back to work because families have people to support and rent they need to pay, but at the same time, no human's life is worth a TV show," Moss told Extra back in May. "We're just trying to figure out how to do it safely for everybody."
What are Handmaid’s Tale season 4 theories?
For now, anything is possible. Viewers will recall that June made sure that the children made it safely to Canada, so that plotline could be finished. Serena and Fred are still being held captive and there was also a bit about Nick's real identity. All of those loose ends could be addressed, though there's no clear answer to many fans' questions and the show's crew hasn't been forthcoming with details.
"You don’t want to be setting up season 4 in season 3. Audiences smell that coming," showrunner Bruce Miller told Entertainment Weekly. "So, what I do is completely screw myself at the end of the season. Then you think, 'Oh, there’s a whole bunch of smart writers who will come in next season and solve that problem.'"
Which Handmaid’s Tale cast members are coming back?
In addition to the regular cast, Moss revealed that viewers should expect some new faces.
"We have six regular [characters] in Canada now […] we spent the whole season 3 with June in a new house with Bradley Whitford as Commander Lawrence," she told The Hollywood Reporter. "Obviously, June's going to need to find a new fucking place to live. I don't think she's going back to that house! It's an opportunity for a new location, a new world, a new part of the world to show and new characters."
Here's who is slated to return:
- Elisabeth Moss as June
- Joseph Fiennes as Fred Waterford
- Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Waterford
- Samira Wiley as Moira
- Alexis Bledel as Emily
- Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia
- Max Minghella as Nick Blaine
- O-T Fagbenle as Luke Bankole
- Bradley Whitford as Commander Joseph Laurence
- Clea Duvall as Sylvia
- Amanda Brugel as Rita
What is The Handmaid’s Tale about?
For new viewers or anyone that just needs a refresher, Hulu's critically acclaimed series is based on Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel by the same name. The story takes place in Gilead, a dystopian take on the United States where fertile women, who are called handmaids, become forced into slavery and birth children to boost the population. As the show progressed, it has veered from Atwood's book and in season 3, many viewers took issue with June's character, saying that she was doing things that were out of character and compromising her morals to topple Gilead's oppressive regime.
How many seasons of Handmaid’s Tale are there?
Hulu has three seasons available for streaming and season 4 is set to premiere in 2021. The streaming giant hasn't announced when the show will end, but did announce that there would be a spin-off series, The Testaments.
"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. We don't see ending it in [season 4], and I can honestly say to you, we don't have a definitive out," producer Warren Littlefield told TV Guide. "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."
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