‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: Talks Underway About How & When To End Hit Hulu Drama Series; Will Season 5 Be Its Last?

The end is in sight for The Handmaid’s Tale.

The Elisabeth Moss-fronted drama is heading into its fifth season and the team behind the dystopian series is in talks with Hulu as to whether to end it with season five or to carry on.

“The success of The Handmaid’s Tale remains paramount for us,” Jordan Helman, Head of Scripted Originals at Hulu told Deadline. “That said, what is also most important to us is that we 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 writers are in the process of breaking story for season five, after a particularly revelatory ending to season four.

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Helman called the show, which is produced by MGM Television, the “crown jewel of our portfolio” and revealed that season four received 32% audience growth over season three.

The interesting sidenote to the deliberations around the end of the drama is that the streamer has already lined up its next Handmaid’s Tale-related project in The Testaments.  

Atwood published the follow-up in 2019 and it picks up more than fifteen years after Offred’s final scene in The Handmaid’s Tale novel.

“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,” added Helman.

He also said that the most important thing for Hulu with regards to the ending of The Handmaid’s Tale, the launch of The Testaments as well as the possibility of any other spin-offs or sequels is “creative integrity”.

“Obviously, there are business reasons to explore notions of how to expand it but what is most important is maintaining the creative integrity. This is a show that’s always kept viewers on their feet,” he added. “Breaking the proper end to the season, whether that’s one season, two seasons or more. I have the utmost confidence that what they will deliver, will be the appropriate ending to the show.”

Elsewhere, in the Margaret Atwood universe, Hulu is also developing an adaptation of her book Maddaddam, an apocalyptic thriller about genetic reinvention, corporate domination and young love.

Helman said that Maddaddam, which is being written and exec produced by The Little Drummer Girl showrunner Mike Lesslie, is on its “own creative trajectory” separate to conversations around The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments.

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