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The Handmaid's Tale Won't Premiere Until Fall 2020 and We Might All Be Living in Canada by Then

The series could continue all the way into The Testaments

Lindsay MacDonald

The most recent season of The Handmaid's Tale left June (Elisabeth Moss) in a bit of a lurch, but it doesn't sound like we'll be getting the answers about what comes next for a while. In fact, the wait for The Handmaid's Tale Season 4 might be longer than for any of the previous seasons.

At the Television Critics Association winter press tour, executive producer Warren Littlefield told a small group of reporters that Season 4 would not drop in the spring or summer as it has in the past, given the later start date for production on this season. "We'll start with principal photography March 2, and we'll be on in the fall," Littlefield said.

A longer wait is never fun, but fans will be happy to hear that there's no intention to make Season 4 the last for the series.

"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," Littlefield said. "We don't see ending it in [Season 4], and I can honestly say to you, we don't have a definitive out. 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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As for whether or not that would be an entirely new series or simply a continuation of The Handmaid's Tale, Littlefield is less than sure about that potential future.

"Well, if you read the book, then the book is in concert with what we've done. And so, there would be an end to Handmaid's, and you would leap to 15 years later into Testaments," Littlefield speculated. "So, I think they are linked, without a doubt, they're linked, but ... I think we want to embrace the shift where we go to that world, and it is 15 years later. I think that could be real interesting in how much has changed. How different is it? I think that's part of the massive intrigue of the book."

Hulu boss Craig Erwich shared that sentiment during Hulu's executive session at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.

"We have acquired the rights to The Testaments, which is Margaret Atwood's next foray into the world of Gilead," Erwich said. "It is an incredible novel. I think last year it was not just critically but also commercially probably one of the best books of the year. Ultimately Bruce [Miller], Warren [Littlefield], and Lizzie [Moss] are trying to figure out, you know, what is the best way to take the real estate and the creative landscape of that novel and weave it into The Handmaid's Tale -- where it fits into the universe. But we're thrilled to have Margaret's next work."

The Handmaid's Tale Seasons 1-3 are now streaming on Hulu.

Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid's Tale

Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid's Tale

Sophie Giraud, Hulu