The once relatively unknown actors burst into the Hollywood industry full speed ahead after the drama’s massive success. “I don’t think Netflix thought it was going to be as huge as it became, but neither did we,” cocreator Matt Duffer told Entertainment Weekly in September 2017.
In fact, the Stranger Things fandom pushes those behind the scenes to elevate each new offering. “It’s definitely daunting,” director Shawn Levy said. “The love for this show is so rabid.”
Duffer added: “We want people to argue about what season is better. I want the debate. I want the Toy Story debate!”
Part of surprising viewers is keeping plot details securely under wraps — even when it comes to the cast. “I don’t know much about it because we get the scripts as we go along,” Finn Wolfhard told Us Weekly of season 3 in August 2018. “It’s set in 1985, in the summer. It’s the summer of love — that’s all I can say, really.”
Matarazzo left his teases vague too. “I’m really excited about the special effects this season, and the scripts are the best we’ve had,” the actor hinted in Us’ summer TV preview.
Shannon Purser, meanwhile, called the series “the perfect show” in an August 2018 interview with Us — despite the fact that her character, Barb Holland, met an untimely end in season 1.
Stranger Things premiered on Netflix in July 2016. The first season starred Brown (Eleven), Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), David Harbour (Jim Hopper), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), Joe Keery (Steve Harrington), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers) and Cara Buono (Karen Wheeler).
Season 2 debuted in October 2017, while season 3 followed in July 2019. Season 4 of the hit Netflix series was pushed back to 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Levy explained that fans could expect a season like never before as filming started to wrap up in the summer of 2021.
“What [fans] can expect is a season that is wildly more epic than the first three,” Levy told Entertainment Tonight in August 2021. “The reason it has taken a minute is, yes, COVID  — 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.”
Scroll to see how the Stranger Things cast transformed since the first season!