Hulu Suspends Production of 'The Handmaid's Tale' Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Hulu has suspended production on The Handmaid's Tale Season 4 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, series star Elisabeth Moss, who portrays June, confirmed on Sunday. The 10-episode fourth season was expected to premiere in fall 2020, though it remains unclear if the halt of production will impact that anticipated premiere date.

"Hey guys:) we shut down production of season 4 in order to preserve the health and safety of our cast and crew and join the world in an attempt to flatten the curve," Moss announced on Instagram. "This show is my life and this cast and crew is my family. Nothing is more important than making sure they and everyone around them is safe. We hope to be back in production as soon as it's safe to do so," she assured fans. "In the meantime stay safe and healthy and take care of yourselves. So much love from our family to yours."

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An adaptation of Margaret Atwood's novel of the same name, The Handmaid's Tale is set in a dystopian future in which a totalitarian society, Gilead, subjects fertile women, "Handmaids," into child-bearing servitude.

Along with Moss, the series also stars Joseph Fiennes, Alexis Bledel, Madeline Brewer, Ann Dowd, O-T Fagbenle, Max Minghella, Samira Wiley, and Bradley Whitford.

It was confirmed in July the award-winning series would be returning for a fourth season at the streamer, the announcement made during Hulu's Summer Television Critics Association press tour.

The Handmaid's Tale is produced by MGM television, which has shut down a number of its other productions, including Fargo and Circle for HBO Max.

Meanwhile, Netflix has temporarily halted production on all of its scripted series and films that are produced in the Unites States and Canada and has also suspended production on Season 2 of The Witcher, which films in the United Kingdom.

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In a similar move, Disney recently announced that it, too, would be shutting down production on nearly all of its movies due to the outbreak. Those films include the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan & Wendy, a new sequel to Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, Ridley Scott's period drama The Last Duel, Guillermo Del Toro's Nightmare Alley, and the Home Alone reboot, among several others.

The decisions come amid growing concern over the coronavirus outbreak, with more 165,000 confirmed cases globally and more than 6,000 fatalities.