After almost three years away, Stranger Things is finally coming back into our lives.
Eleven and the gang last appeared all the way back in season three of Netflix’s sci-fi smash hit in 2019, and 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, the fourth season of the sci-fi smash is soon on the way – here’s everything we know about it so far.
- Gaten Matarazzo who plays Dustin has told NME season four is “bigger than any season we’ve had (before)”
- Every episode is over an hour long, with episode nine clocking in at 150 minutes
- Creators the Duffer brothers say season four will lead directly into the fifth and final season
- Season four will be released in two volumes, the first on May 27 and the second five weeks later on July 1
When will Stranger Things season four be released on Netflix?
Netflix has confirmed Stranger Things season four will be released in two volumes. The first will be released on May 27, with the second five weeks later on July 1.
In a note from creators Matt and Ross Duffer, the pair wrote: “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.
Every ending has a beginning. Vol. 1 is coming May 27. Vol. 2 is coming July 1. pic.twitter.com/nw8IYqQzil
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) February 17, 2022
“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 four will be released in two volumes. Volume One will release on May 27th; Volume Two will release five weeks later on July 1st.”
Producer Shawn Levy previously discussed season four’s delay with 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.”
Is there a Stranger Things season four trailer yet?
There is indeed! The official trailer was released (April 12) ahead of the May 27 release of Vol.1. Check it out here:
Another teaser was released (August 6) which shows glimpses of season four, alongside footage from the first three seasons. The 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 2020, it was revealed that a certain key character is not quite as dead as we thought they were…
Watch that trailer below too.
A further trailer was shared on November 6, showing Eleven’s new life in California. Ordinary school life soon changes 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 was 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.
Ross Duffer explained in April 2022 that the show will feature disparate locations, and knew as such when they were coming off of season three, comparing it to Game Of Thrones.
“[But] we didn’t know how big the season was going to get, and we didn’t even realize until we were about halfway through, just in terms of how much story that we wanted to tell this season,” he told Deadline’s Contenders Television panel. “Game Of Thrones is one thing we’ve referenced, but also for us really what it’s about is revelations, in that we really wanted to start giving the audience some answers.”
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.
The Duffers have also revealed that they had to add an extra episode halfway through making the season, Matt explaining: “I don’t think we have an episode clocking in under an hour – even in Season 1 there were episodes that were like 35 minutes.
“You kind of forget that. This season, they’re very long, so I think it’s almost double the length of any season. So that’s one reason it’s taken so long. It does have this sort of epic quality to it. It’s a different feel, for sure.”
Not only is there more episodes than before, two episodes will be feature-length. Speaking to TheWrap, Matt Duffer said: “[Episodes] seven and nine in particular are movies. And nine is a long movie.”
Recently, the run times for all nine episodes of season four were confirmed by Netflix, with that “long movie” clocking in at 150 minutes. The other eight episodes will last between 63 minutes and 98 minutes.
Are there any photos from the set?
Netflix has released batch of stills from the fourth season. You can check them out below.
come and get it. pic.twitter.com/hOeJSmeAth
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) March 23, 2022
Who’s going to be in the cast for Stranger Things season four?
Most of the main cast will 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…”
Speaking to NME, Maya Hawke has spoken about the newfound confidence that her character Robin will be taking into season four.
“She used her wicked intelligence to help fight the Russians last season and I think you’ll see her learn a lot about what’s going on in the world of Hawkins and use her brilliant mind to tackle those things as well.”
Robin will also be getting closer to Natalie Dyer’s Nancy, with Dyer explaining how “at the beginning, there’s probably a little bit of friction or tension in the sense that they’re just very different people. But through everything that goes on, they start to understand each other and work together, think like each other and care about each other. It was such a fun journey for these two characters to go on and to see that dynamic evolve.”
Elsewhere, Priah Ferguson told NME about being seen as more than just Lucas’ little sister. “With Erica stepping in as a leader, I think it’s made her understand more about what’s been going on for the past three seasons. She comes to the realisation that this is a pretty serious, dangerous situation she’s putting herself into.”
And Sadie Sink’s Max will be dealing with the death of her brother Billy die at the hands of The Mind Flayer during the climactic Battle of Starcourt at the end of season three.
“When you experience a trauma like that, it’s interesting how your body and mind reacts and the questions that you ask yourself and the really dark places that you go to,” Sink explains. “Max is in a really tricky mental place and feeling very vulnerable, but doesn’t want anyone to know it.” Instead of reaching out to her friends for support, though, she cuts them off and keeps her feelings to herself – something Sink hints “ends up hurting her more than anything”.
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 also confirmed to TVLine exclusively that the show’s creators the Duffer Brothers were looking to cast four new male characters for season four.
Three of the new characters are teenagers and one is an adult. The piece described 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.”
Speaking to NME, Matt confirmed that A Nightmare On Elm Street’s Robert Englund will feature in this season. The iconic actor behind Freddy Krueger plays Victor Creel in the new episodes – a part he put himself up for instead of being approached to play. “I cannot tell you how surreal it is to be watching audition tape after audition tape and then suddenly you go, ‘Is that Robert Englund in a bathtub?’” laughs Matt.
“It’s just a dream come true to work with him, but then for people to also see him in a role that wasn’t just Freddy Krueger,” Ross chips in. “I think he gets to do something in the episode that he’s in that is really emotional and really effective.”
What will happen in season four of Stranger Things?
“It’s massive,” Matarazzo told NME. “It’s bigger than any season we’ve had. I think it expands upon the lore that we’ve created over the course of three seasons very, very well and answers questions. It provides cool opportunities for the entire cast to do some really great stuff. There’s a great new villain, and it’s been a long time – it’s been three years so I feel like the anticipation is greater than anything else.”
When we left Hawkins at the end of season three, 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 will see the gang separated, and the show move away from Hawkins for the first time.
Comparing the scope to another big series, Matt Duffer said in April 2022: “We kind of jokingly call it our Game Of Thrones season because it’s so spread out, so I think that’s what’s unique or most unique about the season.”
Addressing season four’s timescale, Matt added: “Joyce and Byers family to have left at the end of Season 3. They are in California – we’ve always wanted to have that like ‘E.T’.-esque suburb aesthetic, which we finally got to do this year in the desert; and then we have Hopper in Russia; and then of course we have a group remaining in Hawkins.
“So we have these three storylines, are all connected and kind of interwoven together, but it’s just very different tones.”
They have also teased some answers about the supernatural occurrences in Hawkins, saying: “Back when we did Season 1, Netflix just kept going ‘Can you explain all this mythology to us?’ So we wrote this giant 20-page document, which talked about everything in terms of what was going on and what exactly the Upside Down was.
“And then each season we’re just sort of peeling back the layers of that onion, so to speak. But this season, we really wanted to really get into it and [revealing] some of those answers. But to do that properly, we needed time, so it just became bigger and bigger.”
Previously, 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.
Speaking about the possible collision of worlds and the real-life ascendence of Ryder, Matt said in April 2022: “That’s the threshold we can’t cross, which is once Winona is a superstar in the world, like the show has to stop, because [the kids’ heads] will spontaneously combust or something,” laughed Matt,
“That’s the final scene: the kids go to see Beetlejuice and their heads explode,” Ross joked.
The Duffer brothers previously 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
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.”
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 Stranger Things will come to an end after season five.
In a note announcing season four’s release date, the pair wrote: “Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for Stranger Things. 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 soon see for yourselves – we are now hurtling toward our finale. Season four will be the penultimate season; season five will be the last.
“There are still many more exciting stories to tell within the world of Stranger Things; new mysteries, new adventures, new unexpected heroes. 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. As always, we are grateful for your patience and support.”
Speaking to NME, they said that season four will lead straight into season five. “Typically in the previous seasons, everything wraps up in a nice bow,” Matt Duffer explains. “Four and five are really [connected] together. [With five], there’ll be no wind-up time – like even this season, you get to experience the kids and what they’re going through in high school before things start to escalate. Then it gets crazier and crazier and crazier – that’s typically the trajectory. Five, you’re just going to be right in the middle of it so it’s going to feel very, very different.”
As for how the show will end, the brothers are keeping shtum for now, but say they know how this saga will close out. “We do have an end,” Matt confirms. “I’m sure a lot of it’s going to change, but now [it’s] the end. It’s just one of those things that you come up with and you go, ‘That’s it, that’s right, that’s inevitable – that’s what it has to be’.”