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, and it was well worth the wait.
If you haven’t watched it yet, it’s time for you to invest in some serious telly time. But if, like us, you’ve already binged the entirety of the latest season, you’ll be scouting around for anything you can find out about future episodes of the show. Thankfully, there’s definitely going to be a fourth season of the sci-fi smash, so here’s everything we know about it so far.
- David Harbour teases Hopper’s “darker palette” in season 4.
- The Duffer Brothers tease some “cool” guest stars in season 4.
- Joe Keery says season 4 is going to be “a lot scarier”.
When will Stranger Things season four be released on Netflix?
There’s currently no release date 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 until 2021 (and the teaser clip – see above – means we may not even see Hawkins again). Additionally, production has been halted on season four due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Production had officially started on season four, however, as teased by a video of the whole cast reuniting for a table read. Let the games begin…
One fan on Reddit reckons they’ve figured out when season four will premiere – and it’s a theory based on the drawings seen in Will’s room during the Netflix season three set tour, which you can see below.
The drawing of a prisoner seen at 2:59 in the above video – which the fan reckons is of Hopper – has the number 403-X on the uniform. That number is the same as that of the room in the hospital where Nancy visited Mrs. Driscoll. Could 403 be an oh-so-subtle reference to the release date of season four, then? The Reddit fan certainly thinks so, guessing that season four will be released on April 3, 2020.
And wait – there’s more. A release date of April 3 would fit nicely with season four apparently being set in 1986, the year of the Chernobyl disaster – playing to an existing fan theory that the events of Stranger Things will either affect or be effected by those in Chernobyl in the next season. An interesting theory, no?
However – in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the concrete release date might now be up in the air. Film and TV productions around the world have been delayed or suspended, and Netflix ceased filming on all its current projects for at least two weeks.
David Harbour, who plays Hopper, took to social media to speculate. “Who knows? We’re shut down now,” the actor said. “It was supposed to come out early next year, I think, although I don’t have authority on this. And now I don’t know. That’ll probably be pushed back. Hopefully we can get back to work but I don’t know what that looks like.”
Is there a Stranger Things season four trailer yet?
There is indeed! And it reveals a certain key character is not quite as dead as we thought they were…
Watch the brand new teaser in full below.
“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.”
Has filming started yet?
Yes! After rumours emerged that filming started in October 2019 from a new listing in film trade publication Production Weekly, an eagle-eyed fan has provided evidence.
“Filming has begun in Rome, Georgia. They’re currently filming behind my brother’s house on E 9th,” a fan remarked on Reddit, sharing a photo of a film set with Hopper’s iconic truck in view (via Daily Mail).
The series has been filming in Vilnius, Lithuania, too, with preparation starting in November before wrapping-up there on February 14. The show has also shot in locations across the country as well as the former century-old Lukiškes Prison.
Continuing the expansion of the storyline, the cast and crew has also travelled to New Mexico to shoot a considerable portion of season four, according to Deadline. The specifics in terms of plot beyond Atlanta remain under wraps.
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 new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Caleb McLaughlin has 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,” Lucas’ actor says. “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.
“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, 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 4, 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 new interview with Entertainment Weekly, creators the Duffer brothers have 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,” the show’s executive producer Shawn 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 4 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.”
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. 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,” wrote the publication on April 17.
“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.”