The Handmaid's Tale season 4 release date, cast, trailer, plot: When is the series out?

The Handmaid’s Tale: Hulu release gripping season four trailer

The Handmaid’s Tale season four was commissioned back in 2019 but has faced several delays getting back to screens. The dystopian drama was first impacted by the release of Margaret Atwood’s sequel novel and then there were several filming delays to contend with as well. Ahead of its return, has rounded up everything confirmed about June Osborne’s (played by Elisabeth Moss) return to Hulu and Channel 4, including the cast, plot, trailer and what exactly its release date will be.

When is The Handmaid’s Tale season 4 released?

Hulu has announced in its latest trailer that season four of The Handmaid’s Tale will only be released in 2021.

However, an exact date has not been announced and will update this article as soon as any news is revealed about the release date.

This comes after the initial release date was billed as autumn 2020 when at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, executive producer Warren Littlefield said: “We’ll start with principal photography March 2, and we’ll be on in the fall.”

The previous seasons of the show have been released once a year since 2017 but this seems to imply there will not be a summer release date and the show has been delayed.

READ MORE: The Handmaid’s Tale: June star teases season 4 is ‘bigger than ever’

The Handmaids Tale season 4

The Handmaid’s Tale season 4 release date, cast, trailer, plot: When is the new series out? (Image: HULU)

However, now it appears this has been delayed further following production being shut down after the outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19.

This was announced by star Elisabeth Moss on Instagram on March 16.

In a post, she wrote: “We shut down production of season four in order to preserve the health and safety of our cast and crew and join the world in an attempt to flatten the curve.

“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.”

The latest update came in December 2020 from showrunner Bruce Miller.

He told The Hollywood Reporter: “We’re still shooting, kind of in the middle of the season.

“We planned out the whole season, started filming, and then had to stop … everything from locations, to number of people in scenes, to travelling actors, all that stuff had a huge impact on our story, just because it has to, and honestly, we’re in a situation where we have to make do with what we can get our hands on.

“In the end, it was surmountable, and I think we’re making an excellent show, and I’m really proud of what we’re doing, but it was hard, and it continues to be hard.”

READ MORE: The Handmaid’s Tale season 4 theories: Shocking June death revealed

The Handmaids Tale season 4

The Handmaid’s Tale season 4 release date, cast, trailer, plot: When is the new series out? (Image: HULU)

Who is in the cast of The Handmaid’s Tale season 4?

There has been no news yet about who will be returning for the fourth series of The Handmaid’s Tale.

However, the teaser trailer reveals the majority of the leading cast is expected to return for another season.

This is expected to include Elisabeth Moss as June Osborne, Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy and Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia.

Other potential returning cast members include O.T. Fagbenle as Luke, Alexis Bledel as Emily and Joseph Fiennes as Commander Waterford.

However, Rita (played by Amanda Brugel) will not be returning after the actor confirmed the news to Harper’s Bazaar.

Hulu has confirmed McKenna Grace will be joining the cast as Mrs Keyes, who is a whip-smart wife in the republic of Gilead.

READ MORE: The Handmaid’s Tale season 3: What was the meaning of the mouth rings?

The Handmaids Tale season 4

The Handmaid’s Tale season 4: Who will be returning to the cast? (Image: HULU)

What is the plot of The Handmaid’s Tale season 4?

WARNING: This section of the article contains spoilers for The Handmaid’s Tale season 3

The Handmaid’s Tale season three has only just finished airing on Hulu so it’s not clear yet what direction the plot will take.

The next series is likely to pick up on the cliffhanger ending of season three where June (played by Elisabeth Moss) was swept away by her fellow handmaidens.

The children managed to escape and make the journey to Canada, so we are likely to see more of this in the new season.

Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) was also arrested in the final episode, which will have an impact on her future next season.

MGM and Hulu have also now announced that the sequel novel The Testaments will also be adapted into a TV series, but it is not yet clear when this will come out or whether this will become part of season four. 

READ MORE: Handmaid’s Tale: 5 shows to watch if you like The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaids Tale season 4

The Handmaid’s Tale season 4: Is there a trailer for the new series? (Image: HULU)

Showrunner Bruce Miller has hinted at potentially severe consequences for June in the next season in a new interview with E! News.

He said: “You can imagine, I mean, if one child getting out and going to Canada [became] an international incident.

“For Gilead, these kids were kidnapped from their homes. So I think they react like any other country would, but magnified because we’re living in a world where children are very rare.

“So are there going to be consequences more than [June] getting shot? Yes, absolutely.”

The teaser trailer for the new season seems to imply June might also be gearing up for war.

READ MORE: The Handmaid’s Tale season 4: Has the new series been delayed?

The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale: Will Nick play a bigger role? (Image: HULU)

In the wake of the announcement, there have also been a number of dramatic theories emerging from what Atwood’s sequel The Testaments revealed.

A lot of the novel focuses on Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd), examining her backstory as well as big revelations about her character’s future.

Baby Nicole’s fate is also revealed in the novel, which could be picked up in the new series.

Finally, Hannah (Jordana Blake) was renamed as Agnes Jemima in the novel.

This all comes after the announcement that  that the novel will be adapted by MGM and Hulu at some point in the future.

At the Television Critics Association winter press tour, executive producer Warren Littlefield revealed more about what will happen in the season.

The Handmaid’s Tale: Ann Dowd ‘thrilled’ at Lydia being alive

The Handmaid's Tale season 4

The Handmaid’s Tale season 4: What will happen next? (Image: HULU)

According to TV Guide, he said: “We have not planned season four 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 four], 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.”

As well as this, there are plenty of theories about what could happen next, including Gilead invading Canada as well as over what role Nick will play.

READ MORE: The Handmaid’s Tale: What happened to June in The Testaments?

Is there a trailer for The Handmaid’s Tale season 4?

Yes, a teaser trailer has been released for season four of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Showing a mix of old and new clips, the trailer shows June preparing to train her fellow handmaidens for a new war.

She says: “I can’t rest, my daughter deserves better. We all deserve better. 

“Change never comes easy. This war isn’t going to win itself.”

Fans can watch the latest trailer at the top of this page to see the rest of the characters in action.

The Handmaid’s Tale season 4 will be released on Hulu in 2021.

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