Netflix struck gold in 2016 when the first season of Stranger Things introduced audiences to the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, where a group of plucky young kids contends with terrifying creatures and mysterious government agents endangering their town.
All three seasons of Stranger Things have earned heaps of critical praise and high marks from viewers, so it’s no surprise that fans started looking ahead to the show’s fourth season just seconds after they binged the most recent adventure. Although season 4 hasn’t officially been given the green light by Netflix yet, the series’ success makes it all but assured that we’ll see more of Eleven, Dustin, Steve, and the rest of the Hawkins gang. Here’s everything we know about Stranger Things season 4 so far.
(Note: This post contains season 3 spoilers, so turn back now if you haven’t watched the season yet.)
One more season (or two)
Fans will be glad to know that Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer don’t intend to end the saga on the somewhat melancholy note of season 3’s conclusion, with our group of heroes heading in separate ways.
In an April 2018 interview, series producer and director Shawn Levy indicated that the show’s creative team has season 4 already mapped out narratively, and that it is “definitely happening.” And the story might go beyond that season, too.
“There’s very much the possibility of a season beyond [season 4], that’s currently undecided,” Levy told Collider. “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 assumption. So even though we always start off with a good sense of the major arcs of the season, we’re always ready for shifts and surprises because if the Duffers stumble into a different or surprising inspiration while they rewrite the script, we’re going to follow that inspiration and throw out some ideas in order to embrace some new ones that are more exciting.”
A potential premiere date
Nothing is official at this point, but it’s worth noting that the premiere dates for each season of Stranger Things so far have followed a pattern.
The first season of Stranger Things premiered in July 2016, while the second season debuted in October 2017. Season 3 then went back to a summer premiere this July. If the show continues with this pattern, season 4 of Stranger Things is likely to arrive on Netflix around Halloween in 2020 (or if they choose to wait an extra year, 2021).
If the series is indeed targeting a season 4 premiere in fall 2020, it will need to be renewed relatively soon in order to begin production in time to hit that target date.
Who’s going to return?
The bittersweet end of Stranger Things’ third season saw Hawkins’ heroes split up and go their separate ways after the heartbreaking loss of a few key characters, but it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise if the cast reunites for the show’s fourth story arc.
Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and the rest of the young cast members are expected to return for season 4, along with Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder), Karen Wheeler (Cara Buono), Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman), and — given his surprise appearance in the finale — Dr. Sam Owens (Paul Reiser). Teenage characters Jonathan Byer (Charlie Heaton), Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer), Robin Buckley (Maya Hawke), and unsung hero Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) are also expected to reprise their roles.
One character whose fate remains up in the air, however, is gruff police chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour), who seemingly died in the season’s final episode. A post-credits scene included in the finale has led many to believe that “The American” referenced in the scene is indeed Hopper, who has somehow ended up in the Soviet Union after the events of season 3. Harbour himself has hinted that his character’s story isn’t over yet, either.
Taking the show on the road
Everyone involved with Stranger Things is tight-lipped about where the series could go in season 4, but there have been some clues.
In a July interview, Matt Duffer suggested that the story could indeed follow the main characters outside of Hawkins in the fourth season.
“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, in terms of special effects, but open up in terms of allowing plotlines into areas outside of Hawkins,” Duffer told Entertainment Weekly.
That would seem to track well with the characters’ decision to depart Hawkins in the season finale, as well as the post-credits scene set in the Soviet Union.
There’s no official premiere date or information regarding season 4 of Stranger Things at this point.
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