Following the highly-anticipated release of the fourth season of Netflix’s Stranger Things, creators and showrunners Ross and Matt Duffer (Hidden) revealed that the upcoming fifth and final season will feature shorter than those of its predecessor, according to Deadline. The show’s fourth season released nine film-length episodes, with each running around an hour and a half, and a finale that ran over two and a half hours.
“The only reason we don’t expect to be as long is, this season, if you look at it, it’s almost a two-hour ramp up before our kids really get drawn into a supernatural mystery. You get to know them, you get to see them in their lives, they’re struggling with adapting to high school and so forth, Steve’s trying to find a date, all of that. “None of that is obviously going to be occurring [in season five],” Matt Duffer said. “However, look for the series finale to be as long as a feature film. We’re more likely to do what we did here, which is to just have a 2.5 hour episode.”
The penultimate season of the show introduced revelations that connected to each character even from the start of the debut season. Still, the fourth season’s finale left off on a cliffhanger – with Max (Sadie Sink, All Too Well, Fear Street) in a coma and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown, Enola Holmes) unable to find her in the void, and the revelation that Vecna (001) has been planning his attack from the Upside Down since the first season. Furthermore, it’s no surprise that the season was labelled “the beginning of the end.”
While the fourth season took two years to film – including Covid-related shutdowns – it is still unclear whether the shorter episodes will lead to a shorter production time and sooner release date.
“Characters are already going to be in action, they’re already going to have a goal and a drive, and I think that’s going to carve out at least a couple hours and make this season really different,” Duffer said.