Stranger Things Season 4: Everything We Know

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It’s been nearly two years since we’ve seen a new episode of Stranger Things, and the subsequent withdrawal has been nothing short of painful. But minor hints about the forthcoming fourth season have steadily dropped since the show resumed filming in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s definitely an unorthodox form of shooting,” Gaten Matarazzo (who plays Dustin Henderson) told Us Weekly in December. “Everyone on set has been very diligent about wearing their PPE. Even for our off-camera work, we keep our masks and goggles on. Lots of distancing. Separation during lunch, and transport from base to set.” Matarazzo went on to add that prior to the restart of filming in October, “The kids would always check in on each other to see how we were doing. We have to look out for each other.”

Here’s everything we know about the next installment, including a favorite character’s return and which new cast members will be venturing into the Upside Down.

Season 4 is currently filming.

The new season had only been shooting for a month when Netflix shut down production in March 2020.

“I was having phone calls with Netflix while directing takes and blocking scenes,” executive producer and director Shawn Levy told IndieWire last year. “We shared the news with our cast and crew that we would be pausing production out of an abundance of caution. There were no sick crew members, no one was exhibiting symptoms, but it seemed like the right thing to do.” Newsweek reports filming had taken place in Lithuania in early 2020, most likely for Russia-set scenes featuring Hopper.

On June 18, 2020, the Stranger Things writers’ account announced they had finished writing the entire season, and on September 28, 2020, Newsweek reported production had resumed in Georgia.

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Matarazzo has been candid about the oddity of filming mid-pandemic. “There’s very few dates that are reliable,” the actor told Collider in late March 2021. “It really is more of a guesstimation on when we’re gonna be filming next, when we’re gonna be wrapping up, when release is gonna be, all that jazz because we still don’t know on day-to-day if we’re gonna be filming next week.”

A new teaser trailer spells trouble for Eleven.

On May 6, 2021, Netflix released another teaser for Season 4, this time focusing on the facility from which Eleven escaped in season 1.

In the short clip, we watch a room full of children with shaved heads, each of them wearing hospital gowns and playing with toys. A mysterious man, who keeps his back to us, enters the room and says, “Good morning, children.”

“Good morning, Papa,” they chant in response. That title is almost certainly meant to signal that this man is Papa, otherwise known as Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine), who experimented on Eleven and other children as part of a U.S. Department of Energy project at Hawkins Lab.

Down the hall from the children’s play room, we see a door marked “11,” and the sound of Eleven’s own harried breathing. Next, a voice we’re meant to assume is Papa’s asks, “Eleven, are you listening?” Her eyes flash open.

Could this mean she’s imprisoned? Or is this a flashback, a memory Eleven must now cope with?

Watch the full teaser below.

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There’s still no word on a release date, but best bets point toward 2022.

David Harbour hinted during a March 2020 Instagram Live Q&A that the fourth season was set to premiere in early 2021, but since production was shut down over COVID-19 safety concerns, the show’s release date was postponed. “[Season 4 was] supposed to come out early next year, I think, although I don’t have authority on this,” Harbour told fans on the IG livestream. He added that “due to all the delays, this release window is likely to be pushed back.”

As Inverse pointed out, the series has had a pretty predictable release schedule. It first premiered in the summer of 2016, followed by the fall of 2017, and then again in the summer of 2019. With that pattern, some had guessed we would finally get season 4 in the summer or fall of 2021, but actor Finn Wolfhard revealed in a video with fans that the show “should be out sometime [in 2022], hopefully.”

The cast, writers, and even the show’s official Twitter account are dropping behind-the-scenes hints.

On April 7, 2021, David Harbour went live on Instagram from set and threatened to leak spoilers. He discussed how it was a “very tough” shooting day before Millie Bobby Brown joined the call and told him to stop filming and go back to set. Harbour also mentioned he missed Brown, implying the two have not filmed together recently.

To tide us over until a new season, the official Stranger Things writers’ Twitter account has also been releasing tiny tidbits about season 4. On May 18, 2020, a fan asked for emoji spoilers and the account responded with a very suspect emoji.

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They also tweeted a truly brutal tease about the contents of the new season:

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As well as a sweet behind-the-scenes shot of Noah Schnapp, Caleb McLaughlin, and Wolfhard.

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For those in search of additional clues, Netflix released a video of the Stranger Things 4 table read—which took place pre-pandemic, of course—that features all your favorite Hawkins citizens, including Brown, Winona Ryder, Natalia Dyer, Wolfhard, Schnapp, McLaughlin, Maya Hawke, and yes, Harbour. Plus, Brett Gelman, who plays conspiracy theorist Murray Bauman, was recently promoted to a series regular.

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Several new faces are joining Stranger Things 4.

As season 4 of the hit Netflix series begins to take shape, several new actors are joining the show’s cast. Deadline reports that eight new cast members are headed to Hawkins in a variety of roles. Jamie Campbell Bower will be a series regular in the role of Peter Ballard, “a caring man who works as an orderly at a psychiatric hospital,” per the outlet.

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Other series regulars include Eduardo Franco as Jonathan’s stoner pal Argyle and Joseph Quinn as metalhead Eddie Munson, who runs The Hellfire Club at the center of the season’s first episode, per Deadline.

Robert Englund, who played Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street, will join the show as recurring character Victor Creel. His character is reportedly institutionalized in the psychiatric hospital after committing “a gruesome murder in the 1950s,” Deadline reports.

Joining Englund and Tom Wlaschiha and Sherman Augustus as Russian prison guard Dmitri and sophisticated Lt. Colonel Sullivan, respectively. Additionally, Mason Dye will play popular rich kid Jason Carver and Nikola Djuricko will play Russian smuggler Yuri, according to Deadline.

The official Stranger Things account tweeted a welcome to all the new characters, along with a short description and…an upside-down photo. Click the tweet below to see them all.

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Season 4 might just be terrifying.

In an interview with Total Film magazine, Keery (who plays Steve Harrington) revealed this could be the scariest season yet. “Oh man, it’s pretty amazing—the Duffer brothers have really done it again,” he said. “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.”

He also joked that he didn’t keep his iconic Scoops Ahoy outfit, explaining, “I know that costume served its purpose and I’m glad to retire it. [Laughs] Do I have it at home for Halloween? I don’t, unfortunately. They won’t let me have that one. One day!”

The Duffer Brothers actually described the new season as more comedic while speaking to The Hollywood Reporter. “There’s a little more humor in it, a little more action, and it just has a different feel than the past two seasons, which were set in the fall and a little more dreary and scary,” Ross teased.

Matarazzo told Entertainment Tonight on April 1 that the new season feels more “mature.” “As we are growing older as people, we have to grow older as characters,” he explained. “[The show’s creators] are confronted by this issue, but they embrace it, and they use it to their advantage. And they don’t freak out when we get taller or when our voices drop or anything like that. They use it and they use it as ammunition for their writing.”

Finally, Maya Hawke, who plays Robin, revealed her character gets much more focus this season. “The Duffer brothers…keep investing and building the characters,” Hawke told Entertainment Tonight. “It’s an honor to be a part of it, and work with them, and watch them build these people, especially Robin … They really dig into her this season and I’m really, really grateful.”

Of course, Hopper is returning.

Valentine’s Day 2020 saw confirmation of the return of Hopper (David Harbour). A teaser featured his character and the creators released the following statement.

We’re excited to officially confirm that production on Stranger Things 4 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…

Season 4 is shaping up to be the biggest and most frightening season yet, and we cannot wait for everyone to see more. In the meantime—pray for the American.

From Russia with love, The Duffer Brothers.

The new season will expand beyond Hawkins.

On Sept. 30, 2019, Netflix confirmed the fourth season with an ominous teaser video. All that appears in the 45-second clip is the Stranger Things 4 logo and a foreboding tagline: “We’re not in Hawkins anymore.” This suggests a new locale for the next season, as well as uncharted territory for the central characters.

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Besides Lithuania, the new season is slated to shoot in New Mexico. During Deadline’s Hotspots: New Mexico conference in early March 2020, Netflix’s VP of physical production Momita SenGupta said, “Season 4 is bigger, bolder, and more intricate than ever,” adding, “So this is the first time the show will be traveling beyond Atlanta.”

As for what footage the show will be shooting in the new location? “If I told you that, I would be disappearing into the Witness Protection Program,” SenGupta joked.

We know the first three episode titles of season 4.

On Nov. 6, 2019, the Stranger Things writers revealed the title of the upcoming season’s first episode. “Chapter One: The Hellfire Club” spells dark times ahead for Eleven and the rest of the Hawkins gang. The tweet that accompanied the announcement reads, “looking for new members…are you in?”

The Sun notes that the Hellfire Club is also what a group of X-Men villains are referred to in the Dark Phoenix comics of the ‘80s. In it, Emma Frost attempts to lure Jean Grey, who has telepathic capabilities like Eleven, to the dark side. Many are speculating Eleven will be similarly tempted in the new season.

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The writers’ account has since added the titles for episodes 2 and 3 are “Tick Tok Mr Clock” and “You Snooze You Lose.”

Natalia Dyer has big hopes for Nancy.

ELLE.com caught up with Natalia Dyer, who plays Nancy, in November 2019, and discussed her hopes for the new season and her character. “I see her as this person in pursuit of information and justice and I can’t see her putting that investigative nose down,” Dyer said. “I loved seeing the sensitive side of Nancy and the badass side of Nancy. I hope she’s still going strong and her instincts and her passion remains intact.”

As for loose ends from the third season she’d like to see resolved? “Obviously what happens to Hopper, but also the Byers move away—what’s that going to be like, especially since everyone is in a relationship?” she wondered. “I feel like long-distance is hard nowadays, so imagine long-distance relationships back then.” Dyer even speculated that Nancy could reunite with Steve. πI’d love to see if her and Steve would ever get back together, or at least if they get closure. Will their chapter ever close? I’m very curious. Also, I want her to get a female friend. RIP Barb.”

StrangerThings-NataliaDyer

Curtis BakerNetflix

Season 4 will not be the final season of Stranger Things.

The series’ creators, the Duffer brothers, told Vulture in 2017 that season 4 could be the end of the series. “We’re thinking it will be a four-season thing and then out,” Ross Duffer said. His brother, Matt, followed: “I don’t know if we can justify something bad happening to them once a year.”

But executive producer Shawn Levy seemed to tease a different outcome. “There’s very much the possibility of a season beyond that one, that’s currently undecided,” he told Collider in April 2018. “And what I would just say is part of the chaos and fun of this particular show is that while the Duffers and the writer’s room and we producers outline the entire season, the Duffers really use the writing process to revisit, reassess, and question all of their prior assumptions.”

The Stranger Things kids

The Stranger Things kids

Netflix

The Duffer Brothers also changed their tune by August 2020, with Ross telling THR, “Season 4 won’t be the end. We know what the end is, and we know when it is. [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.”

What questions will season 4 have to answer?

If we do get a season 4 in 2021, then we’ve got some questions.

What monsters will be back?

The Mind Flayer appears to be gone, but each season, something worse than the last appears. If the Duffers are really going to end with season 4, then the final creature will be a doozy. We do know there’s still a Demogorgon out there somewhere in Russia—could there be others, or is there a way to reproduce them?

And with Will and Eleven now away from the monster epicenter of Hawkins, where will we see future creatures? Can monsters travel outside of Hawkins? Could the crew even travel to Russia?

What happened to Hopper?

Now that we know he’s in Kamchatka, it’s going to be really hard to wait for more info about his fate.

Will the core group stay friends?

At the end of season 3, we see the Byers family—plus Eleven—move out of Hawkins. Throughout the season we already saw signs of the original friend group growing apart, like Dustin feeling left out and Will feeling distant from the others because of their girl troubles. With Will and Eleven now on their way elsewhere, what will happen to this team?

What will become of the older kids?

Nancy, Jonathan, Steve, and Robin are all moving on to the next steps in their lives. They’ve stood by their younger siblings through all this crazy monster stuff, so they’re sure to be in the mix somewhere. Now that Nancy and Jonathan have been fired from the Hawkins Post, what’s next? Will Steve become some kind of movie aficionado? And will Robin ever get to tell Tammy Thompson about her love?

Stranger Things 3 is streaming now on Netflix.


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