With production well under way Stranger Things 3, so here’s what we know so far, including release date, plot hints, trailers and more.
- Finn Wolfhard says the show will be set in the summer of 1985, the new “summer of love”
- David Harbour, who plays Chief Hopper, says new season is influenced by 1985 comedy ‘Fletch’. He also revealed that his relationship with Eleven will become more complex in season 3
- Show’s release date delayed until 2019, says Netflix
When is Stranger Things Season 3 released?
Netflix have now confirmed that Stranger Things 3 will debut in Summer 2019.
The service made the announcement during the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in Beverly Hills on July 29.
“It’s a handcrafted show,” Cindy Holland, VP of Netflix’s original content, explained. “The Duffer brothers and Shawn Levy have worked really hard, and they understand the stakes are high. They want to deliver something bigger and better than what they did last year. And so they really want to take the time to get it right.”
Holland added that “more special effects” is one of the main reasons for season three’s prolonged production – but it’ll be “worth the wait”.
In December 2017, star David Harbour said fans “probably won’t get [Season 3] until sometime in 2019” because the Duffer brothers “need time” to write it.
“Those guys work so hard,” he said. “I mean, they just sit in their apartment and write for 12, 14 hours a day.”
How many episodes will there be in Stranger Things Season 3?
Executive Producer Shawn Levy has revealed the episode count of the new series to Glamour. “We’re there. It’ll be an eight or nine-episode season. The number of episodes will be dictated by the amount of story that excites us. We now know what is going to happen in season three to every character.” TV Line later confirmed that it will be eight episodes.
What’s going to happen in Stranger Things Season 3?
We have a lot of questions about Stranger Things 2 after that finale. But it seems pretty clear the show will extend past Hawkins. “They’re going to have to get the fuck out of this town” Ross told Vulture in an extensive interview. And we’ve already seen that happen. Divisive episode ‘The Lost Sister’ from Season 2, saw Eleven branch out and hang out with fellow telekinetic wonder Kali – aka Eight. Chances are this was an important step to establishing storylines outside of Hawkins.
But as the ominous final scene suggested, the Mind Flayer could still cause them hassle, according to The Duffer Brothers.”They’ve shut the door on the Mind Flayer, but not only is it still there in the Upside Down, it’s very much aware of the kids, and particularly Eleven. It had not encountered her and her powers until that final episode. Now, it knows that she’s out there. We wanted to end on a little bit of an ominous note.” Job done, then.
Speaking to Variety, Millie Bobbie Brown gave us some insight into what will happen to Eleven. “It’s really a coming of age for her and understanding what being a normal teenage girl is, she said. “It’s a beautiful storyline for Eleven this season.” N’aww.
David Harbour, who played Jim Hopper, has suggested to Insider that a long-held theory that his daughter Sara died in Hawkins Lab could be true. When pointed the similarity between where Hopper was seen slumped in a stairwell in Season 1, and where Dr. Owens was found hiding in Season 2, Harbour responded, “it is the same location. So that’s interesting. Or it’s a similar location.”
Eleven’s controlling father Papa reared his head briefly, hinting that he could return as the show’s big baddie. Eight, meanwhile, also looks like she’s set herself up as the baddie – as she uses her power for not-so-wholesome endeavours.
After hyping up Stranger Things 2 as “bigger and darker”, The Duffer Brothers have promised no such extension.“It’s not necessarily going to be bigger in scale,” Matt Duffer told Indiewire. “What I am really excited about is giving these characters an interesting journey to go on.”
Joe Keery, who plays Steve, is already thinking what his character’s role in the new episodes could comprise of. Speaking to Mashable, he said “he’s [Steve] definitely not the fastest guy. In a pinch, he can work himself out of some situations. With Hopper, they could lend to each other in that way. It could be like a buddy-cop movie or something.”
Shawn Levy said that we’ll see more of Steve and Dustin in the new series, for sure In season two, it was all very cute and there was a funny factor to it because it was unexpected, but now that it is expected, I want to see them connect more and be more familiar with each other,” Levy told Glamour. “I want them to have a connection like they’ve really had a connection for a year—like they’re brothers.”
Will, who was the focal point of Season 2, is unlikely to have such a pivotal role, according to Levy. “We’re going to give Will a break,” he told Glamour. “We’re not going to put Will through hell for a third season in a row. He’ll be dealing with stuff, but he won’t be at rock bottom the way we forced the amazing Noah Schnapp to play.”
Speaking at a special screening of Stranger Things (August 18), David Harbour revealed an unlikely source said to have inspired Season 3 of the series. Speaking at the event, Harbour said 1985 comedy Fletch – starring Chevy Chase – has provided the Duffers with some ideas for the new season.
Harbour told Variety: “The Duffers are so specific each year with the movies…and Fletch is one movie we get to play around and have some fun with this season, which you wouldn’t expect from Stranger Things and you wouldn’t expect from the Spielberg universe and you certainly wouldn’t expect from a darker season.”
Harbour also said that his relationship with Eleven will become more complicated as the season unfolds. He said: “Their relationship is going to get far more complex, because, you know, things happen to girls and boys when they’re 13 and 14…a lot of changes go on in the body and in your social life, and I don’t think he’s going to handle watching her become a woman in front of his eyes very well.”
He added: “That’s horrifying for him – maybe even more so than fighting inter-dimensional monsters.”
Harbour also revealed that he wants to see his character’s relationship with Joanne Byers develop more. “There may be other people in the mix in this situation, but I think they’re built for each other and I would love to see them get together.”
“From the very beginning, I thought that these two are tortured, messed up, beautiful people who are like puzzle pieces that can’t stand each other but actually need each other.”
When will Stranger Things 3 be set?
Speaking to Collider, producer Shawn Levy said that the show is likely to be set a year after Season 2’s conclusion, so during the summer of 1985.
The Duffer Brothers also suggested that the new episodes will have to deal with the kids’ growing up and puberty.
“Even if we didn’t want to deal with [puberty], we have to deal with it because our real-life actors are going through it. I think that’s exciting because it forces the show to evolve and become something different every year,” they told Entertainment Weekly.
“It’s going to test their friendships. Obviously, like Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Max (Sadie Sink) are together, but really, when you’re that age, how long do relationships last? They usually last about two weeks if you’re lucky. I think that’s going to be fun to explore.”
Levy has also told The Hollywood Reporter that Eleven (Millie Bobbie Brown) and Mike (Finn Wolfhard) will still be together too.
Will Stranger Things Season 3 be the final episodes?
Judging by the comments by The Duffer Brothers to Vulture, they’re “thinking it will be a four-season thing and then out”. So as Season 3 progresses, we’re likely to see some kind of end-game for the show starting to rear its head.
Speaking to NME, Linnea Berthelsen – who plays Kali aka Eight – doesn’t think that Season 2 episode, ‘The Lost Sister’, is a set-up for a spin-off show. “I don’t think so. I love the rest of the gang, I think it would be so much fun to see more of them, but I honestly don’t think so.”
Will the whole cast be back for Stranger Things Season 3?
See here’s where it gets tricky. If you hadn’t noticed, the kids are pretty much everywhere right now – from talk shows, to playing guitar with Mac DeMarco. So as the kids turn into teens, there’s likely to be some kind of ambition beyond the Stranger Things comfort blanket.
Millie Bobby Brown, who plays Eleven, is already eyeing up some roles in Hollywood blockbusters. She’s confirmed to star in Godzilla: King of Monsters, which is already in its post-production stages. Charlie Heaton (Jonathan) is starring alongside Game of Thrones‘ Maisie Williams in 2018 film The New Mutants.
With those kind of scheduling conflicts likely to throw a spanner in the works, who knows which actors might end up ditching Hawkins to fry some bigger fish? Demand is going to be high for these stars, especially after Season 2.
Linnea Berthelsen, who plays Kali, revealed to NME that she “doesn’t know yet” if she will return for Season 3, but would “love to,” if asked.
“I have no idea, I’m really a big fan of Matt and Ross who create the show and I just really want to see what they do with this storyline,” she told NME. “If they’re gonna bring Kali back, I have no idea. I think we should just be excited for the show, for season 3, and see what they’re gonna bring.”
The Duffer Brothers seem keen for her to return. “I would say chances are very high she comes back” Matt told an audience at Vulture Festival LA.
One person we know we will be seeing more of his Lucas’ younger sister, Erica, who stole the show in Season 2. “I love Erica,” Matt Duffer told Yahoo. “Erica wasn’t even supposed to be in [Season 2] as much as she was. We fell in love with this girl.”
“There will definitely be more Erica in Season 3,” Ross Duffer said to Yahoo. “That is the fun thing about the show — you discover stuff as you’re filming. We were able to integrate more of her in, but not as much you want because the story [was] already going. ‘We got to use more Erica’ — that was one of the first things we said in the writers’ room.”
Priah Ferguson, who plays the character, seems well up for it, too. “I hope Erica could partner with Lucas and fight off the Demogorgan with Eleven, Mad Max, and the whole cast,” she told Teen Vogue. I feel like her just snooping around in Lucas’s room – I feel like that’s a little bit of a clue. But maybe not.
Levy has said that they’re not sure if Dr. Owens, played by Paul Reiser will be back just yet. “I don’t have a clear-cut answer for you yet” Levy said to Glamour in January 2018.
And the cast will get a pay rise?
According to reports, the stars will get paid a whole lot more for season 3. Winona Ryder and David Harbour will be paid $350,000 an episode and Millie Bobby Brown $300,000.
The child stars Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin and Noah Schnapp will all get $250,000 per episode, while Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton and Joe Keery will pocket roughly $150,000 each.
Will there be new characters in Stranger Things Season 3?
Yes! That Hashtag Show recently announced that there will be at least 3 new characters in the show and gave a bit on info on them:
Mayor Larry Kline: Described as a classic, 80’s style slick politician, Kline is described as pathetic and driven only by his own interests. The studio is looking for a male, 40s-60s, to fill the role.
Bruce: A morally compromised news reporter in his 50s, Bruce was described as outwardly sexist, overweight and bedraggled.
Patricia Brown: Patricia seems to be filing the role of the sweet, neighborhood elder. The studio is looking for a woman in her 70s for the role which will see her spending a lot of time tending to her garden and offering her advice to the neighborhood kids.
An additional new character by the name of Robin, who Netflix described as “an “alternative girl”. That is her literal character description so get ready for some angst.”, will be played by Maya Thurman-Hawke.
Has there been confirmed new cast additions?
Yes, it’s been confirmed that Cary Elwes and Jake Busey will join for season 3. Princess Bride star Elwes will play Mayor Kline, while Starship Troopers‘ Busey will portray Bruce.
Busey elaborated on what his character consists of. “I play one of these filthy, rotten journalist-types!” he told Syfy. “Nah, I’m a local journalist with a sick sense of humor. They had to add an element to the show, so it’s a new angle.”
As mentioned above, Maya Thurman-Hawke, who in 2017 starred in the BBC’s Little Women, will also appear in the new series.
Has Stranger Things Season 3 started filming?
Yes, filming for Stranger Things Season 3 began on April 23.
Millie Bobby Brown has even shared a photo from the set:
On May 20, Brown shared another update about season three, saying that it was “amazing and wonderful” to be back filming with her castmates.
“The Duffer brothers and Shawn Levy and Netflix really know how to grow with the characters so it’s very good,” she said. “They know how to write to us and how we’re growing and our voices are changing and our mindsets are changing and we are maturing every day.”
Brown also disclosed her choice for a Stranger Things dream cameo: Leonardo DiCaprio.
“Leonardo is Eleven’s long-lost brother,” she said when asked about what role he could play on the show. “I have already made a storyline. Leo, if you want to be in Stranger Things, here’s the contract.”
It was recently revealed that Brown had broken her kneecap, forcing her to miss the MTV Movie and TV Awards in June 2018. Her co-star Sadie Sink said it was “gnarly” but that she would get “better really soon”. It is likely that this will affect her current shooting schedule.
Brown has now returned to the set in Atlanta to continue filming. As the Daily Mail reports, she was seen filming scenes with Sadie Sink, including one where the two had to ride their bikes in the rain. Although Brown is back to work, she reportedly hasn’t been given the go ahead by doctors to perform her own stunts yet.
On 16 July, an advert for a new shopping mall in the show’s fictional hometown of Hawkins, Indiana, was shared via Stranger Things’ Twitter.
The show’s teenage heartthrob, Steve Harrington (played by Joe Keery), is seen working in an ice cream parlour called Scoops Ahoy. Perhaps the shop and the shopping mall will feature heavily in the new series.
Maya Hawke appears as Harrington’s colleague, Robin, in the clip. Could she be a major new character?