Caution: spoilers ahead!
Ever since the first trailer for the Netflix series Stranger Things debuted, there was major buzz around the nostalgia-driven thriller about a group of kids in the ’80s who get caught up in a terrifying mystery involving a telekinetic girl, otherworldly dimensions, and a monster unleashed on their small town. And for those who binged their way through the first season, one of the biggest remaining mysteries was whether the acclaimed show created by brothers Matt and Ross Duffer would indeed get a second season.
Much to the delight of sci-fi fans of all kinds, that question has now been answered with the announcement of a second season coming in 2017. So what do we know about the show’s impending return? Here are all the details so far.
We’ll see some familiar (and not-so-familiar) faces
Most of the first season’s cast is expected to return for the second story arc, but they will be joined by a few new characters, too.
Among the characters reportedly joining the series in the second season will be a girl named “Max.” TV Line reports (unofficially, of course) that a casting call for the show’s second season describes the character as a “tough and confident” girl between the ages of 12-14 years old, whose “appearance, behavior and pursuits seem more typical of boys than of girls in this era.” Max is described as riding a skateboard instead of a bicycle — the preferred mode of transportation for the show’s young characters — and will likely feature prominently in the premiere episode, which is expected to have the title “Madmax.”
Joining the series in the second season will be a girl named “Max.”
Also rumored to be joining the show in the second season is the “very muscular and hyper-confident” older brother of Max, who drives a Camaro (because it’s the ’80s, of course) and is named “Billy.” The two aforementioned characters will be joined by a third newcomer, a 30-something character named “Roman” who reportedly suffered a serious loss, and is bent on revenge.
Although there’s some speculation about who will be returning for the second season, one thing seems certain: Barbara (Shannon Purser) won’t be among them.
“I can’t see it happening,” Matt Duffer told IGN when asked whether Purser’s character — last seen in the nightmarish “Upside Down” dimension — will be back. “But Barb will not be forgotten. We’ll make sure there’s some justice for Barb. People get very frustrated, understandably, that the town doesn’t seem to be really dealing with Barb. That stuff is all happening. We’re just not spending any screen time on it.”
“These characters have changed and the audience has to sort of fill in those gaps of what went on in that year.”
“Season One actually takes place over the course of six or seven days – it’s a really short period of time,” he explained. “So part of what we want to do with hypothetical Season 2 is to explore the repercussions of everything that happened.”
Now that the show has received the green light for a second season, the creative team will likely have to move fast, as the series’ young cast members could look quite a bit different in the near future. Speaking with IGN after a press event during the Television Critics Association in July, Matt Duffer acknowledged that the cast’s young age can pose a problem for continuity on a project like Stranger Things.
“Yeah, you have to do the Harry Potter thing,” he explained. “You have to jump a year. Because, like, Gaten [Matarazzo, who plays Dustin in the series], his voice has already dropped quite a bit, to the point where we couldn’t even do ADR [automated dialogue replacement] with him. We had to pitch it way up. It’s dropped. He’s grown. As much as I would love to have it be Christmas right after that, it’s just not feasible, so we’re going to skip a year. They’ll be a year older, and all their changes they’re going through, we’ll take that into account and kind of work that into the show.”
What happened to the characters during that year will also open up more story possibilities for the second season, added Ross Duffer.
“These characters have changed and the audience has to sort of fill in those gaps of what went on in that year,” he said. “To us, it’s exciting. So the fact that we have to make this jump, because of the kids, we’re trying to use that to our advantage.”
Despite experiencing what appeared to be a fatal attack from the creature, Matthew Modine’s creepy scientist, Dr. Martin Brenner, could also be primed for more sinister machinations in a second season, according to the show’s creators.
“I would say that if we were going to kill Brenner … as an audience member watching the show, if that was his death, that would be very unsatisfying to me – when the monster jumps on him and we cut away,” said Matt Duffer of the ultimate fate of Modine’s character. “He would deserve much more than that as an ending. So yes, there’s a possibility of seeing him again.”