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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: Everything We Know About ‘The Testaments’ Sequel
'The Handmaid's Tale': Everything We Know About 'The Testaments' Sequel,Following the Season 5 finale Wednesday, Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale has just one season left to conclude the story of June Osbourne, but Season 6 won't necessarily mark the end of the story of Gilead. As the critically-acclimated series approaches its final season, fans are already looking ahead [...]

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: Everything We Know About ‘The Testaments’ Sequel

Following the Season 5 finale Wednesday, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale has just one season left to conclude the story of June Osbourne, but Season 6 won’t necessarily mark the end of the story of Gilead. As the critically-acclimated series approaches its final season, fans are already looking ahead to The Testaments, the planned sequel show.

The Handmaid’s Tale premiered on Hulu in April 2017. Drawing from Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel of the same name, the debut season centered around June Osbourne and her plight as a handmaid, a woman forcibly assigned to birth children for the commanders, in the dystopian totalitarian society known as Gilead, the remnants of what was once the United States. After moving through its source material in the first season, the series moved away from Atwood’s novel and embarked on its own path in the following seasons, which showed June sparking an uprising against Gilead and eventually escaping to Canada. After four seasons, and just ahead of the Season 5 premiere in September, Hulu renewed The Handmaid’s Tale for a sixth and final season.

While the upcoming sixth season will be the show’s last, it will not mark the end of The Handmaid’s Tale universe. More than three decades after The Handmaid’s Tale was published, Atwood released a sequel novel, The Testaments, which is poised to become a Hulu original series. Keep scrolling to see everything we know about Hulu’s The Testaments adaptation.

Is ‘The Testament’s’ confirmed?

Thankfully, fans won’t have to wait around hoping that The Testaments will be ordered. Back in 2019, MGM and Hulu announced that they would develop The Testaments into a TV adaptation, with Steve Stark, President of Television Production at MGM, saying at the time, per Deadline, “Margaret Atwood is a literary icon who continues to delight and challenge readers through her provocative and compelling prose. She has been an incredible creative partner and resource to MGM throughout the production of Handmaid’s and we look forward to working with her on the story’s exciting next chapter.”

It was also reported at the time that MGM and Hulu were in talks with Bruce Miller, showrunner of The Handmaid’s Tale, about how the The Testaments can become “an important extension” to the original series.


What is ‘The Testaments’ about?

A sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments is set 15 years after the events of the 1985 novel. Published in 2019, the novel is narrated by three women with ties to Gilead – Lydia, a divorced judge-turned-Aunt who secretly despises Gilead and becomes a mole supplying critical information to the Mayday resistance organization; Agnes Jemima, a young woman raised in the oppressive society as the daughter of Commander Kyle and his wife Tabitha; and Daisy, a Canadian teen who learns she was actually born in Gilead.

Details for Hulu’s adaptation of the series are scarce, though it seems likely that the show will follow a very similar plotline and will focus on those three central characters. Miller recently told The Hollywood Reporter of The Handmaid’s Tale’s approaching conclusion, “when that time ends, luckily, very fortunately, we get to go into The Testaments, which June’s story is a part of but not central to. It’s a perfect creative situation that we get to peel off but maintain our connection with all of our characters that we’ve built and loved, and all of the actors. The part that is heartbreaking and terrifying is to leave the actors behind.”


Release Date

Unfortunately, more than three years after the announcement that the series was picked up, a release date still has not been announced for The Testaments. It seems most likely that the show will debut sometime after The Handmaid’s Tale ends. The Handmaid’s Tale has already been picked up for a sixth season, which will act as the show’s final season. It’s likely that Season 6 will debut sometime late next year, meaning fans probably can’t expect to see The Testaments until 2025 at the earliest.



Given how little information has been shared about The Testaments, it comes as little surprise that the cast for the upcoming series has not been announced. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few guesses as to who could feature in the show. Given her narrating role in the book, it seems almost guaranteed that Ann Dowd will reprise her role as Aunt Lydia in the sequel show. In fact, the most recent season, as well as Season 4, has even hinted at Aunt Lydia’s The Testaments storyline, with the character at one point suggesting a complete restructuring of the handmaid system and vowing “to do things differently.”

It is also possible that Bradley Whitford will reprise his role as Commander Lawrence. Although he is not a character in Atwood’s book, Lawrence was introduced in The Handmaid’s Tale as the architect of Gilead, meaning he is central to the creation of the society that has been depicted throughout the past five seasons of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Some have also theorized that the Agnes from the book could be the Agnes in the show, or rather, June Osbourne’s daughter, who was stolen from her and is now being raised in Gilead by Commander and Mrs. MacKenzie, who renamed her Agnes MacKenzie. It’s just as likely, though, that the Agnes from The Testaments could be a different character entirely.


‘The Testaments’ Series Update

While The Testaments series still seems to be very early in the development stages, Miller confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that work on The Testaments series is underway. He told the outlet in September that he is currently “technically checking boxes,” explaining that “because the worlds are slightly different with timing, and all the things that are different between a television show and a novel, I have to figure out all of those little things. I’m trying to lay the groundwork.”