In an interview on August 18, Stranger Things creators, Ross and Matt Duffer (Stranger Things, Wayward Pines), confirmed that the series won’t end after the upcoming fourth season with The Hollywood Reporter . Ross Duffer added that the COVID-imposed production hiatus gave them more clarity on the eventual series finale by saying “season 4 won’t be the end. We know what the end is, and we know when it is” (The Hollywood Reporter). The Duffer’s maintained a vague tone throughout the interview, careful not to give too many close-guarded secrets away, meaning the “end” they have in mind might be in the form of a movie, but a fifth season seems most probable.
After scoring 8 Emmy nominations for their third season, Matt and Ross Duffer reflected on what they have learned with each new season of Stranger Things. While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Matt Duffer commented “we keep learning the same lesson over and over again: We cram too many ideas into the show.” However, introducing a slew of new characters and concepts each season may have helped the Duffer’s find new threads of story to play with each season. For example, when asked about the Russian undertones in season one, Matt Duffer responded: “it was nice that we had planted it in season one, but we really had no idea that the show would go beyond that.”
Stranger Things turned out to be a tremendous success for both Netflix and the Duffer Brothers with the first four weeks of the latest season seeing 64 million viewers, via The Hollywood Reporter. Fortunately, the Duffer’s could mine their own story ideas from previous seasons to further flesh out the world of Hawkins, Indiana as the show took off. Those Russian threads from season 1 have now taken center-stage in the story, as evidenced by February’s season 4 teaser trailer.
From Russia with love… pic.twitter.com/ZWEMgy63Et
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) February 14, 2020
“Hopper is the American in that Russian prison,” David Harbour (Stranger Things, Hellboy) confessed to Deadline after the trailer dropped and the fate of his character, Jim Hopper, was finally revealed. Since production shut-down on March 13, only a few weeks after starting, this February teaser marks the only new information audiences have received from the show’s highly anticipated fourth season. And to some, this seemed a foregone conclusion. After season 3’s culminating post-credits scene teased that there was “an American” being held in Russia, many suspected Hopper. In an attempt to give audiences a little more to look forward to, without dispelling any of the behind-the-scenes magic, Harbour elaborated on season 4 “there’s monsters, there’s horrors, there’s scares, there’s also like great Indiana Jones-type action, but also we get to see some of Hopper’s really deep backstory” (Deadline).
Though the production halt in March prevented a 2020 release, The Duffer’s recent interview shed light on some of the positive outcomes brought about by the delay. “I think it’s maybe been a blessing for the writers, in some way, because they had the time to just sit down, think and create” reflected Natalia Dyer (Stranger Things) when speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in July. The Nancy Wheeler actress spoke about the “write as they go” system imposed on the writers by scheduling, something the Duffers also spoke to in their recent interview. The Stranger Things writer’s room tweeted a triumphant photo of the completed scripts for season 4 in June, 3 months into the show’s hiatus. Not only has the production halt given the writers time to finish the fourth season, they were able to add a ninth episode to the originally planned 8-episode arc.
— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) June 18, 2020
Ross Duffer stated that he was unsure when Stranger Things would resume season 4 production in Atlanta, as the safety of the cast and crew is the utmost priority, via The Hollywood Reporter. Evidently, The Duffer’s minds have not wandered far from Hawkins during their hiatus. According to Ross Duffer “[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” (The Hollywood Reporter).
In previous interviews, The Duffers speculated Stranger Things was likely to wrap around season 4, via E!Online. However, this new interview means fans don’t have to fear that this upcoming installment will be the science fiction hit’s last. According to the Duffer brothers, Stranger Things will likely return for season 5, if not more.
Image Credit: Raymond Flotat