After almost two years away, Stranger Things finally came back into our lives. In October 2019, Eleven and the gang made their long awaited return to Hawkins for season three of Netflix’s sci-fi smash hit. It was well worth the wait.
If, like us, you binged the entirety of the latest season a long time ago, you’ll be scouting around for anything you can find out about future episodes of the show.
Thankfully, a fourth season of the sci-fi smash is soon on the way – here’s everything we know about it so far.
- Fans think they might have unlocked the season four release date
- Netflix has revealed the titles of season four’s episodes
When will Stranger Things season four be released on Netflix?
The show’s fourth season has been confirmed to release in 2022. There’s currently no specific release date beyond that for the next season but given that there was a 20-month gap between season two and three, we may not be returning to Hawkins for a while (and the teaser clip – see above – means we may not even see Hawkins again).
Producer Shawn Levy recently said season 4 would be released “soon enough” and teased that a specific date would be announced “quite soon”.
Of the ongoing delays, he told Variety: “The delay is due in large measure to COVID and the pace at which we have to work to do so safely, but it also happens to be the season that we chose to go much bigger. It’s the scale of this season and the multi-settings of Season 4.”
At the start of 2022, fans came to believe they had unlocked the release date by calling a phone number from a teaser shared in November 2021.
When called in November, the number only played a recorded message, but reportedly if you call the number now (January 2021) it leads to “happy birthday music” which is thought to potentially nod to a past episode from season three initially called ‘The Birthday’.
“Could be related to the show’s anniversary. So s4 releases on July 15,” said one person on Reddit, with another person adding: “AND July 15th is a Friday. WHOA!” pointing to the fact that Netflix often launches new episodes of major shows on Fridays.
Is there a Stranger Things season four trailer yet?
There is indeed! A new trailer was released (August 6) which shows glimpses of season four, alongside footage from the first three seasons. The new shots are brief, but there’s a mysterious clock, Eleven rocking a new hairstyle while being held back by suited blokes, and a shaved Jim Hopper sporting a flamethrower (presumably in Russia, if it picks up directly after events in season three).
uʍop ǝpᴉsdn ǝɥʇ uᴉ llɐ,ʎ ǝǝs
Stranger Things returns in 2022. pic.twitter.com/RHwQng4QZh
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) August 6, 2021
An earlier trailer shared in May teases Eleven’s storyline for the upcoming season. In it, we watch a series of clips of children being tested in Dr Brenner’s lab. He was the manipulative director of a research lab who forced Millie Bobby Brown’s Eleven to participate in his mind power experiments during season one. Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine) appeared to be killed by the Demogorgon, but an orderly told Eleven and Kali (Linnea Berthelsen) in season two that he is still alive.
The footage from this trailer is almost certainly a flashback or dream sequence, as the end frame pans to Eleven’s face, while Brenner asks: “Eleven, are you listening?” You can watch it in full below.
In an earlier teaser from last year, it was revealed that a certain key character is not quite as dead as we thought they were…
Watch that trailer below too.
“I think that was planned, because there’s only so much time that you have before people start to find out that David Harbour is back on set and start talking about it. I think Netflix just kind of nipped that in the bud very early,” he said.
“I didn’t even know that [the trailer] was coming out until I posted it on Instagram! So I was excited. I knew Hopper was alive, I just didn’t know that trailer was coming out. So now I’m just really excited for everybody to see it.”
A further trailer was shared on November 6, showing Eleven’s new life in California. Oridinary school-life soon changes then when the visuals flip to a sudden barrage of gunshots, car chases, military action and a desert-set explosion.
What locations will we visit in season four?
A new location that will feature in Stranger Things season four has been revealed during Netflix’s livestream TUDUM event (September 25). In a new teaser premiered on the preview showcase, it was revealed that a house dubbed Creel House will be a “super important location” in the new episodes.
The show’s creators Matt and Ross Duffer, plus stars Gaten Matarazzo (who plays Dustin) and Joe Keery (who plays Steve) presented the new clip. “It’s very, very strange,” Matarazzo said of Creel House. The teaser shows a big, old-fashioned house with a family moving in, but strange things – like lights flickering and dead animal carcasses appearing on the lawn – soon start to happen.
After the children’s bodies are seen lifeless on the floor, the clip shifts to the show’s present-day, with Dustin, Steve, Max (Sadie Sink) and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) breaking into the house. “Could you maybe clarify what sort of clues we’re supposed to be looking for here?” Steve asks as they explore the creepy building.
The teaser ends focused on a ticking grandfather clock, with the glass on its clock window cracking as the camera zooms in.
Do we know the titles of the episodes in season four?
Yes! On November 6, Netflix shared a video that revealed all the titles of the episodes due to make up season four. They are, in order of the video, ‘The Hellfire Club’, ‘Vecna’s Curse’, ‘The Monster and the Superhero’, ‘Dear Billy’, ‘The Nina Project’, ‘The Dive’, ‘The Massacre at Hawkins Lab’, ‘Papa’ and ‘The Piggyback’. Watch the video reveal below now.
Are there any photos from the set?
JustJared shared a photo of Joe Keery, Gaten Matarazzo, Sadie Sink and Maya Hawke exiting a vintage video store on October 20, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. Keery – who portrays Steve Harrington in the series – is seen sporting a name tag, which suggests he has a job at the video store.
— JustJared.com (@JustJared) October 21, 2020
Posters in the shop advertise Tom Hanks’ The Man with One Red Shoe and Michael J. Fox’s Teen Wolf, both of which debuted on home video in 1986. This means season four must be set in that year.
Who’s going to be in the cast for Stranger Things season four?
We can expect most of the main cast to return, so Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield), Maya Hawke (Robin) and Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers).
However season three saw some major characters leave the show. Dacre Montgomery, who plays Billy, won’t be returning as his character died sacrificing himself to save Hawkins. And we also saw the tragic death of Hawkins’ chief of police Hopper, although the new trailer (watch above) revealed that the scruffy cop is in fact alive and (not so) well.
In the teaser, he can be seen working on building a railway track somewhere in a very cold and frosty environment.
In a press release, Netflix said: “We’re excited to officially confirm that production on Stranger Things four is now underway – and even more excited to announce the return of Hopper!
“Although it’s not all good news for our “American”; he is imprisoned far from home in the snowy wasteland of Kamchatka, where he will face dangers both human… and other. Meanwhile, back in the States, a new horror is beginning to surface, something long buried, something that connects everything…”
In a July 2020 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Caleb McLaughlin, who plays Lucas in the show, cast doubt over the future of the show, and its cast in particular.
“It’s all up to [the show’s creators] Duffers and the writers if they want to keep going,” the actor said. “Maybe they want to stop now. Maybe they don’t want to give anyone another season. Maybe they just want to leave you guys hanging like that.”
He continued: “I talk to people about this all the time, we can literally leave you guys hanging on the Upside Down. No one really knows what the Upside Down is, we just know what comes from it, like Demagorgons and like the Mind Flayer, but the Upside Down is an alternate dimension of our world.
“Our world is so big so there’s more than just Demadogs, and Demagorgons and Mind Flayers, so no one really knows.”
Maya Hawke has also been talking to the press about her hopes for season four, and where she can see her character Robin going.
Talking to Consequence of Sound in July 2020, Hawke said: “Robin evolved a lot as we filmed the season. I think the Duffer brothers take a lot of inspiration from their actors, so the better the brothers got to know me, the more the character changed. But you would have to ask the brothers about that.
“Robin sees herself as an under-the-radar big fish in a small pond. She is really driven and works really hard at school, because she knows someday, she’ll make it out of Hawkins and she wants to be ready.”
Speaking about her hopes for Robin in season four, Hawke said: “I wanna see her at the video store. So many of the great minds of the ‘80s and ‘90s filmmakers and creatives started out working in video stores, and as far as I know, that environment hasn’t really been explored on TV. I think that would be really fun.”
Noah Schnapp has confirmed he will definitely be returning as Will Byers, sharing his excitement for the next season with the Hollywood Reporter. “I look forward to this so much,” Schnapp said of the upcoming shoot. “It’s my favourite thing in the world, and I love working with these people. It’s like a family.
“I read the first four scripts and they are amazing. I can’t wait to see where they go with the rest of the season.”
Andrey Ivchenko, who played the part of Terminator-style villain Grigori, has also hinted that he could return for season four. Whilst his character was seemingly killed off in the final episode of season three, he revealed at the San Diego Comic-Con that a return could be possible.
He said: “It’s sci-fi, you know, so things can happen…For now, what I know is he’s dead. But who knows?”
Brett Gelman, who portrays journalist-turned-conspiracy theorist Murray Bauman in the show, has been promoted to a series regular for season four, Deadline reported in March 2020.
Sources have also confirmed to TVLine exclusively that the show’s creators the Duffer Brothers are looking to cast four new male characters for season four.
Three of the new characters are teenagers and one is an adult. The piece describes the new teenage characters as “a metalhead”, “an entitled jock” and a character that sounds an awful lot like the twin of Fast Times at Ridgemont High stoner Jeff Spicoli”.
The adult, meanwhile, looks to be pivotal in the Russian storyline that’s set to unfold in the new season.
The Duffers have also teased some big guest stars appearing, Matt telling Deadline: “We have a couple of cool ones this year. It’s a really fun way to get to meet one of your icons, you know? Write a part for them and see if they want to do it… these are actors we grew up watching so it’s amazing and surreal.”
What will happen in season four of Stranger Things?
When we left Hawkins we saw Joyce and her sons Will and Jonathan, along with Eleven, packing up their home into a removal van, ready to move away. This means season four might see the gang separated, and the show move away from Hawkins for the first time.
Jonathan and Nancy reconciled after tensions throughout the third season, so could we see them attempting a long-distance relationship in the future?
In a July 2020 interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Duffer brothers teased more about the “portals” which may take the characters out of Hawkins, Indiana, into different worlds.
“We have the big broad strokes,” Ross said. “It’s just now about filling in those lines in the details. We’re pretty excited about where it’s potentially going to go. Again, like we said, it’s going to feel very different than this season. But I think that’s the right thing to do and I think it’ll be exciting.”
Matt added: “I think the biggest thing that’s going to happen is it’s going to open up a little bit, not necessarily in terms of scale [or] in terms of special effects…but open up in terms of allowing portals into areas outside of Hawkins.”
He continued: “Assuming there’s a season four, obviously the question of who that American is in that cell and then also what they’re doing with the Demogorgon, is a tease…That’s obviously going to play a huge role in a potential season four.”
More fan theories have also been popping up about what’s set to go down in our fourth trip to Hawkins. One Reddit user has some pretty big ideas about the next edition of the show, hinting that a huge nuclear disaster is set to be at the forefront of the plot.
Specifically, they believe that Eleven will spark the Chernobyl power plant disaster of 1986. The theory comes from the fact that season three drew to a close in October 1985, just six months before the April disaster in the following year. It also links together with the Russian spies introduced in the most recent season, with the new theory believing that the disaster could even be fabricated in an attempt to cover up a battle between Eleven and the spies.
The possibility of such a storyline is backed by the Russians using reactors of a similar kind to open gateways in season three. It also comes back to the idea that Chief Jim Hopper isn’t actually dead, and is “the American” mentioned in season three’s mid-credits sequence.
There have also been rumblings amongst fans of something called The Winona Collision. It revolves around the possibility of casting a body double for Winona Ryder’s character, as the show’s setting in the ’80s causes some headaches when contrasted against real life timelines from the past.
“It’s a tough one because I’d love to [make episodes] faster than we do, but the reality is that our show is singular because we are unusually small as a creative team,” Levy told Mashable.
“We want to control every detail of every episode ourselves and that level of micromanagement, that level of authorship, and detail-oriented creativity, it simply takes more time.”
“We’re definitely trying to make the show as quickly as we can. We’re not in control of those things, but we don’t want to bullshit about those things.”
The Duffer brothers meanwhile have released a series of cryptic tweets (October 17), with each seemingly a clue to something that could be happening in the upcoming new season. You can see the tweets below:
anyway I think you’ll—— sorry I couldn’t get it done—— but you mean so—— and it’s been—— hope this is——— last until—— love—— pic.twitter.com/DjRNXbrlKC
— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) October 17, 2019
this is… not about a couple. https://t.co/mWsKNdpMUC
— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) October 17, 2019
it is… not about hopper.
— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) October 17, 2019
Joe Keery, who plays Steve Harrington in the show, gave fans a teaser as to the general mood of the show moving forward.
“Oh man, it’s pretty amazing – the Duffer brothers have really done it again,” Keery told Total Film. “I think that this year – and I know I say this every single year – but this is definitely going to be a lot scarier than prior years because last year was pretty dark.”
David Harbour added detail on the development of his character, Hopper, saying how season four will let fans see a different side to him.
“He is painted in a bit of a darker palette,” Harbour told Deadline. “He’s able to express some of these really deep things that we’ve… hinted at with the boxes in Season two.”
Describing the show’s action, the actor added: “It’s very epic. There are monsters and horror and scares. There’s also some great Indiana Jones-type action.”
Clues pointing to some of the topics in the upcoming season could be contained in titles for some of the episodes. The official writers room Twitter account has confirmed episode two will be titled Tick Tok Mr Clock, and episode three will be called You Snooze, You Lose.
Yeah it’s “tick tok mr clock” https://t.co/PwGMosJuK1
— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) October 12, 2020
“You snooze you lose” https://t.co/eCzupA8yYU
— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) October 12, 2020
The first episode was previously confirmed to be called The Hellfire Club.
What about Eleven’s powers, is she going to get those back?
We’ll have to wait and see. At the end of season three Eleven loses her powers after battling with the Mind Flayer, and there was no sign at the end that these powers would return. Mike was confident they would – but time will tell on whether she gets them back.
Did season three leave behind any Easter Eggs hinting at the storyline for season four?
Well, we’re glad you asked – yes!
Ever-eager Stranger Things fans have discovered another Easter Egg buried in season three, and it’s one they believe holds hints as to an unexplained death in the season, and potential ramifications for season four.
During a scene in season three, the phone number of Murray Bauman – an associate of police chief Hopper who is renowned for investigating conspiracy theories – is read aloud on screen.
Fans have now been calling the number – 618-625-8313 – and finding a message Bauman left for Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) after Hopper was presumed dead in the finale of season three.
The message reads: “Hi, you have reached the residence of Murray Bauman. Mom, if this is you, please hang up and call me between the hours of 5 and 6pm as previously discussed, okay? If this is Joyce: Joyce, thank you for calling, I have been trying to reach you. I have an update. It’s about… well, it’s probably best if we speak in person. It’s not good or bad, but it’s something.”
There’s still much confusion among fans as to what actually happened to Hopper in the season finale (see above), and fans believe that this message is related to the police chief. Couple that with the revelation that he is in fact still breathing (thank you new trailer) and Russian prison guards referring to an unidentified “American” in the most recent episode, and it all starts to make a little more sense.
Further to this, Screenrant has noted a new theory that Joyce and Bauman will be the ones who end up rescuing Hopper from the prison camp in Kamchatka, Russia.
“Before filming for season four shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, the crew shot scenes in Vilnius, Lithuania to act as the Russian setting,” the publication wrote.
“Rumors also suggest that Ryder and Gelman may have been involved in the Lithuania shoot. If that’s the case, it adds even more evidence to the notion that Joyce and Murray go a mission to find Hopper, which was teased by a special Stranger Things Easter egg.
“If Joyce and Murray did find evidence that the Russians captured Hopper, it would make sense that they lead their own rescue mission. The trio had been through a lot together and they understand that the Russians are a huge threat.”
Will season four be the last season of Stranger Things?
The Duffer brothers have confirmed that season four will not be the final season of Stranger Things. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last August, the showrunners also signalled they know when the series will finish up.
“Season four won’t be the end. We know what the end is, and we know when it is,” Ross said.
“[The pandemic] has given us time to look ahead, figure out what is best for the show. Starting to fill that out gave us a better idea of how long we need to tell that story.