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Stranger Things season 4: Here’s everything we know so far

Stranger Things 4 | Official Announcement

When the first season of Stranger Things premiered on Netflix in 2016, the streaming service quickly discovered it had struck entertainment gold with a series that quickly grew into a pop culture phenomenon. Set in the ’80s, the show 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.

Season 4 of Stranger Things has been given a 2022 premiere date by Netflix, so we’ll eventually 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.)

Haunting new trailers

Throughout 2021, Netflix released a series of short previews, teasers, and promotional videos for the fourth season of the series, ranging from action-packed highlight reels to cryptic hints about the mysteries the Hawkins kids will investigate in the next chapter of their adventures.

In May, Netflix broke the long, pandemic-fueled silence on season 4 with a short video featuring a look back at Eleven’s time in the mysterious Hawkins National Laboratory, where she was experimented on along with other children. Earlier seasons have touched on Eleven’s origins — as well as the existence of other children with powerful abilities who came from the institute — but the upcoming season seems poised to take a deeper dive into that area of Hawkins’ dark history.

Stranger Things 4 | Eleven, are you listening? | Netflix

The streaming service put the spotlight back on Stranger Things in September, when it released a pair of videos teasing a creepy, haunted-house element of season 4 that will have the gang investigating a deserted home where a grisly murder occurred almost 30 years earlier.

First, Netflix released a video of newspaper clippings describing both the ghastly incident and the alleged killer’s claim that a “vengeful demon” was responsible for slaying his wife and children. The video was released to promote the “Tudum” preview event Netflix had planned for the following day.

003. Tudum. Tomorrow.

— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) September 24, 2021

During the aforementioned preview event, Netflix then released a longer video featuring a young family moving into their new home, only to experience some ominous events — strange sounds, flickering lights, and so on — that appear to lead to the father murdering his family. The video then shows Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and his friends breaking into the house years later to investigate … something.

Stranger Things 4 | Creel House | Netflix

Although the two videos keep things vague (and creepy), there are plenty of theories about Stranger Things season 4 that seem probable at this point, given the casting news and clips released so far.

Premiere date

The premiere date for Stranger Things season 4 has been the subject of speculation since, well … the premiere of Stranger Things season 3. All expectations were thrown out the window by the pandemic, though, with the series’ production timeline and various other schedules taking a hit throughout 2020 and 2021.

However, Netflix finally offered up the first bit of official news regarding the season 4 premiere in August, when the streaming service released a sizzle reel of sorts featuring a recap of the first three seasons and some fresh footage from season 4, accompanied by confirmation that Stranger Things season 4 will premiere in 2022.

Stranger Things returns in 2022! See you in the upside down

— Netflix (@netflix) August 6, 2021

Although the 2022 date is certainly not the looming premiere fans hoped for, it does offer a more concrete timeline for when we can expect to see more of the Hawkins gang.

The best season yet?

In an interview with People, David Harbour claimed the upcoming fourth season is his favorite to date.

“[You’ll] see a lot of your favorite characters doing the thing that you love them for … but you’ll also see them twist it and turn it into other colors and other flavors,” said Harbour. “And one of the great things that you can see with Hopper is that he was a protector, he’s a man of justice [and] he now has become a prisoner. He’s trapped and he’s isolated. And we get to see an entirely other color of him that has been hinted at… You really do get to see a lot of his backstory. Who he was as a warrior in a sense. And sort of the mistakes he made in the past come back to visit him. This season is my favorite. [Hopper] really is going to show you some new colors and what he’s really made up of.”

New cast members

A host of new cast members will be joining Stranger Things in its fourth season, including a few well-known actors bringing their familiar faces to the series.

Off to Hawkins ⁦@Stranger_Things⁩ @strangerthingstv #strangerthings4
Get ready to meet Victor Creel

— Robert B. Englund (@RobertBEnglund) November 20, 2020

One of the most noteworthy additions is horror veteran Robert Englund, the star of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, who will reportedly portray Victor Creel, a character described by The Hollywood Reporter as “a disturbed and intimidating man who is imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital for a gruesome murder in the 1950s.” The show’s official Twitter account introduced Englund with an inverted — or rather, upside-down — photo of the fan-favorite actor.

Englund will be joined in the season 4 cast by Harry Potter franchise actor Jamie Campbell Bower as Peter Ballard, a recurring character described as “a caring man who works as an orderly at a psychiatric hospital.” Other newcomers include Eduardo Franco (Booksmart) as Argyle, “a fun-loving stoner who works at Surfer Boy Pizza” and Joseph Quinn (Catherine the Great) as Eddie Munson, “a metalhead who runs a local Dungeons & Dragons club called The Hellfire Club.”

Joining them will be Tom Wlaschiha (Game of Thrones) as Dimitri, a Russian prison guard who befriends David Harbour’s imprisoned character, Hopper; Nikola Djuricko as Yuri, a Russian smuggler; Mason Dye as Jason Carver, a wealthy professional athlete; and Sherman Augustus as Lt. Colonel Sullivan, a military man with plans to stop the evil tormenting Hawkins.

Scenes from set

Set photos from the fourth season of Stranger Things released on October 21 and 22, 2020, include Robin, Steve, Max, Duncan, and a first look at Levon Thurman-Hawke’s mysterious new character.

maya hawke and joe keery on set of stranger things 4 earlier today

— best of stranger things (@badpostst) October 21, 2020

a new character was spotted filming at the video store

— best of stranger things (@badpostst) October 22, 2020

more pics of levon hawke on set

— best of stranger things (@badpostst) October 22, 2020

more pics of the cast filming on monday

— best of stranger things (@badpostst) October 22, 2020

Season 4 episode titles

In November 2019, the official Twitter account for the Stranger Things writers revealed the title of the season 4 premiere: The Hellfire Club.

looking for new members… are you in?

— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) November 7, 2019

The announcement has sparked plenty of speculation, as well as some discussion of the title’s potential connection to Marvel Comics history.

Almost a year later, the show’s writers revealed the titles for episodes 2 and 3 on their official Twitter account. The second episode of the season will be titled Tick Tok Mr. Clock, while the third episode has the title You Snooze You Lose.

Yeah it’s “tick tok mr clock”

— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) October 12, 2020

“You snooze you lose”

— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) October 12, 2020

Production delayed

After being put on indefinite delay on March 16, 2020, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, production on Stranger Things season 4 officially restarted in October. The official Twitter page reported on October 1 that the Upside Down officially has cameras in it again.

meanwhile in the upside down…

— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) October 1, 2020

Normal teenagers?

While Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) have long acted as something resembling a supervisory unit to the party, you couldn’t call their lives and relationship anything close to normal. In an interview with Netflix Queue, Dyer shed some additional light on their characters and their connection in the upcoming season.

“I think Nancy’s lonely,” Dyer said. “With Jonathan leaving, who can she relate to? Who’s there? I mean, it’s the ’80s, so it’s not like you can just hop on Skype or FaceTime. It’s a big break. It feels a little bit like the end of an era. But that instinct Nancy has, that curiosity and determination, I think it’s just part of her personality. She’s not going to forget that part of herself. I can really see that going further.”

Script complete

The delay in production on season 4 of Stranger Things doesn’t appear to have affected progress in the writers’ room. In June 2020, the official Twitter account for the series’ writers posted a photo of the completed script for the show’s fourth season.

Stranger Things 4: the complete season. #ST4

— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) June 18, 2020

Table read

Stranger Things 4 | The Table Read

Stranger Things has never been particularly conventional, so it makes sense that Netflix would promote the show through less conventional means. Sure enough, Netflix showed the fourth season of Stranger Things is officially in production through an incredibly cryptic and eerie table read video posted to YouTube.

In the first look at a table read, we see all the familiar faces, including David Harbour, whose Jim Hopper was confirmed alive in a previous teaser for the upcoming season. Deadline also reports that Brett Gelman, who plays journalist/conspiracy theorist/private eye/Russian translator Murray Bauman, has been promoted to a series regular and is on set for episode one.

Cameras rolling

While the majority of the series has unfolded in Hawkins so far, the fourth season will take the story far, far away from the characters’ Indiana town.

A portion of season 4 was filmed in Vilnius, Lithuania, and production concluded in the country’s capital in mid-February.

Much of the filming occurred at the former Lukiškes Prison, with series director Shawn Levy hinting that the scenes filmed there were indeed tied to “the American,” the mysterious Russian prisoner mentioned at the end of the third season, now confirmed to be Jim Hopper (David Harbour).

First trailer

In February, Netflix released the first trailer for season 4 of Stranger Things with a big reveal.

Stranger Things 4 | From Russia with love… | Netflix

In the trailer, Netflix teased that season 4 will begin where season 3 ended: In the remote tundra of the Soviet Union. And they wasted no time resolving the cliffhanger from last season by revealing none other than Jim Hopper (David Harbour) working with a group of prisoners to build a railroad through the desolate region.

Season 5 and beyond

Fans will be glad to know that Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer didn’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 had season 4 mapped out narratively early on, and the series’ story might go beyond that season, too.

stranger things merchandise
Image used with permission by copyright holder

“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 writers’ 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. 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.”

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.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

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) will also reprise their roles.

A post-credits scene included in the finale led many to believe that “The American” referenced in the scene was gruff police chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour), who has somehow ended up in the Soviet Union after the events of season 3. The release of season 4’s first trailer confirmed that “The American” is indeed Hopper, imprisoned and forced to work in the icy tundra of the Soviet Union.

Season 4 of Stranger Things will premiere in 2022 on Netflix.

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Rick Marshall
A veteran journalist with more than two decades of experience covering local and national news, arts and entertainment, and…
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