The final countdown. Netflix announced that in addition to a supersized season 4 of Stranger Things, the hit series will be ending with season 5.
“Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for Stranger Things,” creators Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer announced the news in an open letter to fans on Thursday, February 17. “At the time, we predicted the story would last four to five seasons. It proved too large to tell in four but — as you’ll see for yourselves — we are now hurtling toward our finale. Season 4 will be the penultimate season; season 5 will be the last.”
The duo also reflected on returning to Hawkins, Indiana, three years since season 3 aired.
“It’s been a little while. With nine scripts, over eight-hundred pages, almost two years of filming, thousands of visual effects shots and a runtime nearly twice the length of any previous season, Stranger Things 4 was the most challenging season yet, but also the most rewarding one,” they continued. “Everyone involved is incredibly proud of the results, and we can’t wait to share it with you. Given the unprecedented length, and to get it to you as soon as possible, Season 4 will be released in two volumes. So that’s the good news. It’s coming soon. And it’s bigger than ever.”
Netflix confirmed that the first part of season 4 will debut Friday, May 27, and the second part is scheduled to drop on Friday, July 1. In their lengthy statement, the Duffer brothers teased that this may not be the end to the story.
“There are still many more exciting stories to tell within the world of Stranger Things: new mysteries, new adventures, new unexpected heroes,” the message concluded. “But first, we hope that you stay with us as we finish this tale of a powerful girl named Eleven and her brave friends, of a broken police chief and a ferocious mom, of a small town called Hawkins and an alternate dimension known only as the Upside Down.”
Stranger Things originally premiered on Netflix in 2016. The series stars Millie Bobby Brown, Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp and Sadie Sink. The cast also includes Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery and Maya Hawke.
According to Netflix, season 4 will be set six months since the Battle of Starcourt and will follow everyone “struggling with the aftermath” of what happened.
“Our group of friends are separated for the first time — and navigating the complexities of high school hasn’t made things any easier,” the official synopsis reads. “In this most vulnerable time, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down.”
Ahead of the show’s return, producer Shawn Levy opened up about how filming during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic affected season 4.
“What [fans] can expect is a season that is wildly more epic than the first three,” Levy, 53, told Entertainment Tonight in August 2021. “The reason it has taken a minute is, yes, COVID protocols that keep us safe but have slowed us down — but also, it is by far the most ambitious, epic, globe-spanning plot we have ever done.”
Later that year, Wolfhard, 19, called the upcoming season “really messed up” while on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, adding, “I’m so glad [the creators] still care.”
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