When Will ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 4 Be Released? Hulu Reveals a Major Delay

When The Handmaid’s Tale delayed its third season premiere last year, fans thought the drought would be the longest they would ever have to endure. But now, viewers must require more patience as they wait for new episodes to return. Hulu confirmed The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 will be released later than expected due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 4 delays production in March 2020

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On Mar. 5, Hulu revealed The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 would drop in the fall of 2020, per The Hollywood Reporter. The publication also shared the award-winning drama just started filming that same week. 

A few days after the announcement, production for The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 was shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak. The news was confirmed by Elisabeth Moss, who plays June Osborn. 

“Hey guys,” Moss wrote on Instagram. “We shut down production of season 4 in order to preserve the health and safety of our cast and crew and join the world in an attempt to flatten the curve.”

She continued, “This show is my life and this cast and crew is my family. Nothing is more important than making sure they and everyone around them is safe. We hope to be back in production as soon as it’s safe to do so. In the meantime stay safe and healthy and take care of yourselves. So much love from our family to yours.”

Hulu confirms ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 4 will be released in 2021 (Updated)

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As of this write-up, Hulu has yet to confirm an exact release date for The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4. But in June 2020, Variety reported the streaming platform plans to premiere the forthcoming season in 2021. Meanwhile, The Wrap shared a “narrower” air date will be given once production can resume. 

Now, this delay may not come as much of a surprise. In May 2020, Moss spoke with Extra about the fourth season of The Handmaid’s Tale. The actor also hinted the Hulu series wouldn’t return until the situation was safe enough for everyone involved.

“We were only two weeks in. So we actually have an entire season to shoot,” Moss said at the time. “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 life is worth a TV show.”

She continued, “We’re just trying to figure out how to do it safely for everybody. But everybody’s got their best minds on it. And I think everybody’s on the same page about that.”

In February 2021, Hulu confirmed the release date for The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4. The hit drama returns on April 28, 2021.

What to expect from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 4

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In The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 finale, June was shot by a Gilead guard and carried out by a group of handmaids. However, the character’s efforts paid off, as she successfully smuggled over 100 children into Canada. Meanwhile, Serena Joy Waterford (Yvonne Strahovski) was arrested. 

So where do we go from here? In an interview with Forbes, creator Bruce Miller hinted June may have to face a major decision in The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4. 

“June is now a changed person. She’s had a great success at a great cost,” Miller said in August 2019. “She is now at a crossroads. Will she try for another success or save herself and Hannah?”

Elisabeth Moss as June on 'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 3 on Hulu
Elisabeth Moss as June on ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ | Sophie Giraud/Hulu

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He also shared fans will find out more about Nick Blaine (Max Minghella) next season. 

“He’s fighting the rebels in Chicago,” Miller said of Nick. “But not to worry, we’ll see him next season. His character is still very important. We’re as interested as the audience is and we’ll explore their relationship more.”

Then when speaking with TV Guide, Miller speculated fans will feel “conflicted” about Serena as she will be prosecuted for war crimes in season 4. 

“I expected you to be conflicted about Serena, as always,” Miller said. “I think for Serena, that is going to continue. She does sometimes do things that we think are very understandable and noble and even likable, and then she does so many horrible things. She has so much to answer for. And now she’s in a position to answer for the horrible things.”

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