Hulu announced the June 5th premiere date for The Handmaid’s Tale season three at Monday’s TCA. The series, created by Bruce Miller, is based on the novel by Margaret Atwood. With the first two seasons debuting in April, it seems unusual for such a late release date, especially considering the 2019 Emmy Awards have a June 1st cut-off date. However, several explanations might explain the mystery.
It might be coincidence, but the real name of Offred, the lead role played by Elisabeth Moss, happens to be June, possibly alluding to a focus on June before Gilead. In addition, Game of Thrones launches their final season April 14th, which might lead to strong competition and less viewership. Hulu offers a more simple explanation, however. “Maintaining the quality of The Handmaid’s Tale, which is impeccable, takes time,” explained Craig Erwich, Hulu SVP of Originals. “We wanted to give the show enough time to maintain the incredibly high standards of storytelling set in seasons one and two. The season three episodes — all of them — [will be] eligible for the Emmy body when the show is qualified.” He added that so far, the first two episodes look “spectacular.”
In the last season, June was able to escape Gilead but chose to stay in hopes of finding her daughter. “She is staying to fight to save all the children of Gilead,” Moss revealed. “It’s bigger than her now. It’s bigger than her and Holly and Hannah. It’s all about the sons and especially daughters of Gilead, and fighting for their lives. Seeing the Martha network and the commander has opened her eyes. She is no longer alone. She has an army, and she’s going to fight back.”
Concerning the themes of the new season, Miller detailed June’s renewed vigor: “Certainly, we’re going to hit ups and downs, just like we did [in season two], but that there’s kind of a level of rebellious spirit in June that will make her more hard-charging, and the victories will be a little bit more visceral.”