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SYFY WIRE The Handmaid's Tale

Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale sequel The Testaments headed to Hulu

By Matthew Jackson

Last year, Margaret Atwood announced that she would publish a sequel to her classic dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale more than 30 years after the publication of the original book. Now, Hulu and MGM Television have announced plans to adapt that sequel, just days before it hits bookstores.

Deadline reports that Hulu and MGM are developing an adaptation of The Testaments, Atwood's much-anticipated Handmaid's Tale sequel which promises to expand upon the inner-workings of Gilead through the perspectives of three different female characters. The two companies are reportedly "in talks" with Handmaid's Tale showrunner Bruce Miller to figure out how Atwood's new novel will work as "an extension" of the acclaimed Hulu series based on Atwood's original novel, which has been honored with Emmy, Golden Globe, and Peabody Awards in its first three seasons, among other honors. 

The Testaments, as unveilved by Atwood last fall, picks up 15 years after the events of the original novel, which ends with the fate of its main character, Offred, uncertain. Atwood promises the sequel will explain a great many things left unanswered by the first novel, and it'll be very interesting to see how the new worldbuilding she's constructed will stack up with the additional worldbuilding already put forward by the TV series.

In its three seasons on Hulu, The Handmaid's Tale series has already expanded in many ways on Atwood's original narrative, branching out to cover various side characters and new subplots, so it's not clear how the sequel will fit in. It's also not clear how the sequel's 15 years later timeline will work within the original, still-ongoing series. The Handmaid's Tale has proved to be a spotlight show for Hulu, though, both in viewers and in awards, so it makes sense that the streamer wants to find a way to tell more stories from the world of Gilead. 

The Handmaid's Tale recently concluded its third season and was renewed for a fourthThe Testatements arrives in bookstores September 10.