Will The Handmaid’s Tale season 5 be the last?
August 6, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
The fourth season of The Handmaid's Tale concluded earlier this year, but as Hulu had already renewed the dystopian series for a fifth season, we knew that the story of June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) wasn't over. Given the way the story of The Handmaid's Tale has progressed, some fans feel that the upcoming fifth season will be a natural endpoint, but the creative team is apparently still in the process of deciding whether it really will be the end.
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Jordan Helman, Head of Scripted Originals for Hulu, told Deadline that while "the success of The Handmaid's Tale remains paramount for us," they also want to "close out that show in creative fashion that feels organic, so we are in constant communication, literally right now, talking with Bruce [Miller], Lizzie [Moss] and Warren [Littlefield], about what the best way to end The Handmaid's Tale is. We haven't landed on an answer… I imagine we're going to be able to answer that question in the coming months." The fifth season is in the process of being broken right now, so once the creative team knows where they want to take the story, we'll likely hear something more official about the ending. Even when The Handmaid's Tale does come to an end, it won't be the last we see of that world. Hulu acquired the rights to Margaret Atwood's sequel novel The Testaments in 2019, and Helman said that they're in the process of figuring out the best way to use that story, be it in the main series or in a spin-off.
The conversation around The Testaments is tied to conversations around The Handmaid’s Tale. Margaret Atwood’s work has become an incredibly important brand signifier for us at Hulu and so what we want to do is to 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. The two questions are tied. The birth of The Testaments on Hulu and the eventual end of The Handmaid’s Tale are related, we’re figuring out that as we speak.
The Testaments takes place years after the events of The Handmaid's Tale, but isn't told from the perspective of June, but rather those of "three other women connected to Gilead: a young woman raised in the oppressive society; a Canadian teen who learns she was actually born there; and Aunt Lydia, a major villain in both the original novel and the show." Given how successful The Handmaid's Tale has become for Hulu, it's only natural that they should want to continue the series, but Jordan Helman has the "utmost confidence" that the creative team will know when the time comes to bring it to a close, "whether that's one season, two seasons or more."