You didn't have to read The Handmaid's Tale book to appreciate the TV show. And, when the time comes for Hulu to produce the spinoff series based on the sequel book The Testaments, you won't have to have read that either. But now, fans are curious about whether or not there will be a third Handmaid's Tale book to add to the roster.
Margaret Atwood, who wrote both of the books that take place in the universe in The Handmaid's Tale, didn't write the sequel novel until decades after the original book came out. So while there is really no timeline on another book being released at some point in the future, it could happen unexpectedly, much like the second book did. What fans really want to know, however, is whether she has confirmed it will happen or not.
Will there be a third 'Handmaid's Tale' book?
Right now, there is nothing in the works as far as the general public is concerned. Margaret Atwood did speak with the BBC in 2019 after the release of The Testaments, however, and seemed open to the idea, if she comes up with the right story.
"Never say never, but never try to predict what you may or may not write," said. "I never rule things out completely, although come to think of it I did rule out writing a sequel and now I've gone and done it."
According to Variety, Margaret noted that she started writing The Testaments shortly after former President Trump made it into office. At the time, the Canadian author had been led to writing more about the oppressive world of Gilead while the United States' own changes mirrored it in some small way.
With Trump's exit, there is a certain change that isn't really evident in The Handmaid's Tale, but there are still more stories to tell in the fictional world.
'The Testaments' is going to be made into a Hulu series.
While a third book may not be in the works right now, Margaret's continuation of The Handmaid's Tale, The Testaments, which takes place 15 years after the ending of the original novel, is also set to be made into a TV show. The book is narrated by a young girl in Canada, one in Gilead, and, surprisingly, Aunt Lydia as well.
Not long after The Testaments hit bookshelves, Hulu picked it up to develop it as a spinoff series to The Handmaid's Tale. Eventually, it will hit the streaming platform, but no firm date has been announced.
Does the other 'Handmaid's Tale' book follow the plot of the show?
Because The Testaments takes place years after The Handmaid's Tale book ends and follows the stories of three people who are not June/Offred, it's safe to say that it explores Gilead and beyond in another way. Still, there are characters from the TV show who appear in the book and, to some fans, the book might have clues about the fates of some of the characters in The Handmaid's Tale.
Warning: stop reading now unless you want spoilers for the end of The Testaments!
The two young girls in The Testaments are June's daughters, Hannah (Now Agnes) and Nicole, who are in Gilead and Canada right now, respectively, and Aunt Lydia introduces them to their revolutionary mother at the end of the novel, which could provide an opportunity for Elisabeth to reprise her role.
And since the epilogue of The Handmaid's Tale notified readers of the eventual fall of the republic, the events in the sequel series could explore the beginning of the end in a more in-depth way than even The Handmaid's Tale does.
Watch The Handmaid's Tale on Wednesdays on Hulu.