The Handmaid's Tale Season 2: Every Update You Need To Know

Elizabeth Moss in The Handmaids Tale Season 2

  • The Handmaid's Tale Season 2
  • Release Date: April 25th
  • Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Alexis Bledel, Samira Wiley, Madeline Brewer, Joseph Fiennes, Max Minghella, Ann Dowd, Yvonne Strahovski
  • Directors: Reed Morano, others TBA
  • Writers: Bruce Miller, Margaret Atwood, others TBA

The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Premieres In April 2018

The Handmaid's Tale Key Art Hulu

The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 will premiere on Hulu on April 25th, starting off with a double bill. Star of the show, Elizabeth Moss, says fans will not be able to guess the first scene at all, so it sounds as though there are lots of twists, turns, and shocks in store. Season 2 will run for 13 episodes, as opposed to the ten-episode arc of Season 1. No international releases have been set yet.

Read More: The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Trailer Confirms April Premiere Date

All The Main Handmaid's Tale Cast Are Returning For Season 2

Elizabeth Moss in The Handmaid's Tale

Surprisingly, pretty much everyone from Season 1 will be back The Handmaid's Tale Season 2. Moss is obviously back as June/Offred, but fans had wondered if we'd still see Alexis Bledel as Ofglen or Madeline Brewer as Janine after both were banished from Gilead and sent to the Colonies to shovel toxic waste. The good news is that yes, both women are back, and we will see what life in the Colonies is actually like; a place that's frequently referred to in the book and in season one, but never actually seen.

Samira Wiley is also back as Moira, who has now escaped to Canada and is reunited with June's husband Luke (OT Fagbenle). The Commander and his wife, Fred and Serena Waterford, and their chauffeur, Nick, will also be in Season 2, and of course, Ann Dowd reprises her role as the fearsome Aunt Lydia, who is still ruling the Handmaids of Gilead with (literally) an iron rod.

The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Has A Stacked New Cast

There are also some welcome additions to The Handmaid's Tale cast for Season 2; new characters that will allow for exploration into what life was like for many of the Handmaid's before the dictatorship took over. Marisa Tomei will appear in Episode 2, which will air immediately after the premiere. Details of her role are scarce, but we know more about some other big names set to appear. Veep star Clea Du Vall will join the series in a guest role, playing Ofglen's former wife, Sylvia. She'll be appearing in flashback for definite, but we don't know whether we'll find out her fate under the Gilead regime.

Bradley Whitford (The West WingGet Out) joins as Joseph Lawrence, a high up Gilead Commander with responsibility for the economy. He's described as gruff and disheveled with a wry sense of humor; something that makes the Handmaids wary because the regime is usually so stifling. Cherry Jones (24) will also appear as June/Offred's mother. Fans of Margaret Atwood's original book will recall many mentions of Offred's mother, so will be eager to see her make her debut on screen.

Finally, relative newcomer Sydney Sweeney will play a15-year-oldd named Eden. She is a loyal follower of the Gilead regime and has only one goal in mind; to become the Commander's wife.

Read More: Margaret Atwood Giving Input On The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Storylines

The Handmaid's Tale Story so Far

The Handmaid's Tale Season 1 followed Atwood's book pretty closely, taking audiences into a dystopian future where women are treated as second-class citizens and segregated according to their age, beauty, and ability to produce. With fertility rates near to collapse as a result of environmental pollution, Handmaids are used to "gift" children to the wealthy and elite families. June and her husband, Luke, tried to escape Gilead with their child, but they were caught and June was sent to be handmaid to Commander Fred Waterford and his infertile wife, Serena Joy. There, she is subjected to a raping ritual in an effort to conceive.

Desperate for any physical affection, June begins an affair with Nick, the Waterford's Chauffeur, and becomes pregnant by him. June becomes ever more rebellious, ultimately refusing to take part in the stoning of another handmaid, before being taken by the authorities. Nick has a moment to tell her that she needs to trust them, before she is driven away, her fate unknown.

The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Goes Beyond the Books

The Handmaid's Tale followed Atwood's book closely, but also took license to change or embellish certain aspects. The resulting show was met with massive critical acclaim, and having Atwood on the creative team certainly helped; Gilead is a world of her creation and she's certainly put a great deal of thought into the fate of these characters and how they exist outside of the pages of her novel. She's even more involved in Season 2, which can only be a good thing.

While some were wary of a second season since they'd reached the end of the novel, there are still many aspects of the novel that were glossed over that can now be fully explored. The themes of the novel will definitely remain in Season 2; inequality, misogyny, discrimination and racism are just some.

The Handmaid's Tale Season 2's Story Details

Alexis Bledel in The Handmaid's Tale

The official synopsis for Season 2 of The Handmaids Tale teases what the divergence from the book means:

"The Emmy-winning drama series returns with a second season shaped by Offred’s pregnancy and her ongoing fight to free her future child from the dystopian horrors of Gilead. “Gilead is within you” is a favorite saying of Aunt Lydia. In Season Two, Offred and all our characters will fight against – or succumb to – this dark truth."

Exact details are being kept under wraps, but the full trailer hints at a number of things. Janine is, understandably, angry about her fate in the colonies, while Moira is trying to build a life for herself in Canada; she might be physically free, but it seems as though the horrors of the Gilead regime will keep her trapped for an eternity. The Commander and his wife are scared; their handmaid is pregnant by another man and possibly on the run. The Gilead authorities are notoriously tough in their punishment so their fear is understandable. In a similar vein to season one, there will be many flashbacks, with it looking like we can expect a more in-depth look at how Gilead came to be.

The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Has The Same Showrunner and Director

For The Handmaid's Tale Season 2, Bruce Miller remains as showrunner, and Reed Morano, who exec produced Season 1, directs the Season 2 pilot. Beyond that, no directors have been linked to any exact episodes, but it is thought that Mike Barker, Floria Sigismondi, Kate Dennis and Kari Skogland could all return to direct Season 2. No writers have been confirmed for Season 2 yet.

Watch The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Trailer

The full trailer for The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 was released in March and is as dark and disturbing as you'd expect. It asks a lot of big questions about the upcoming episodes. Check it out above.

The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Poster Teases Fire and Fury

The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Poster

The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 poster is a clear shot of defiance, with June holding her blazing wings in her hand; surely an indication that Season 2 will become darker, more dangerous and impassioned than we've seen before. Is the Gilead regime beginning to unravel?

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