My fellow Stranger Things addicts, as we wonder why we binged Stranger Things 3 so fast, it's time to look forward to the next chapter in the lives of Eleven, Dustin, Will, Steve and the rest of the Hawkins gang on Netflix.
Here's everything we know so far about Stranger Things 4, including its potential release date, cast and latest news.
So, of course, understand that beyond this point lie spoilers.
Will there be a Stranger Things 4?
Netflix just confirmed that The Duffer Brothers are coming back for Stranger Things 4, in a press release and YouTube video. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ross Duffer (one half of The Duffer Brothers, the Stranger Things show-runners who write, direct and produce the show) confirmed that the new season is in the works:
"We’re pretty excited about where it’s potentially going to go. Again, like we said, it’s going to feel very different than this season. But I think that’s the right thing to do and I think it’ll be exciting."
Is there a Stranger Things Season 4 trailer?
Netflix just unloaded the first clip of Season 4 hype. Yes, Production hasn't started yet, so this is just a bit of confirmation that the new season is coming. Also, peep that tagline: "We're Not In Hawkins Anymore."
That being said, I'd claim that the final scenes of Stranger Things 3, especially in the Russian's hideout, are a tease for what to expect.
Do we know the Stranger Things season 4 release date?
Right now, we're so far from production that we don't have a good way to judge when Stranger Things 4 will arrive. There is a pattern, though. Season 1 came out on July 15, 2016, the second season arrived on October 27, 2017 and the third season dropped on July 4, 2019.
Going by this set of data, there's reason enough to suspect that Stranger Things 4 could hit Netflix in October 2020 or 2021. I'd give better odds to the latter date, as the show's cast is booking more roles and will be harder to get them together.
That all said, Stranger Things already did a Halloween season (2) and a summer season (3), so maybe we could see a Winter 2021 release, putting the kids in a new backdrop.
Stranger Things star David Harbour told Variety that the big delay for season 3 was tied to the time it takes for the Duffer brothers to write scripts. Not in a bad way, just that they "write for 12, 14 hours per day."
Who's coming back for the Stranger Things season 4 cast?
This is the most spoiled-filled part of this preview. We expect to see the core group of characters — Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Max (Sadie Sink), Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Steve (Joe Keery) — as well as Nancy (Natalia Dyer), Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), Joyce (Winona Ryder), Robin (Maya Hawke) and Will (Noah Schnapp) all make a comeback.
Also, there's no reason to expect Stranger Things 4 won't include Erica (Priah Ferguson), Karen (Cara Buono) and Murray (Brett Gelman).
Even if the show sees the kids shift away from Hawkins (what could Ross Duffer have been talking about?), I expect we'll see Dr Sam Owens (Paul Reiser).
Further, Brenner (Matthew Modine), who "raised" Eleven in the Hawkins National Laboratory, is an important member of the Stranger Things lore. I'll get to him in the plot section.
And what about Hopper (David Harbour)? Well, that's a bit more complicated. Yes, it's likely he died in the climactic moments of season 3, but Harbour is contracted for a fourth season. Does that mean we'll see Harbour in dreams, like how Eleven saw Billy's past? Only time will tell.
What do we know about the Stranger Things season 4 plot?
When the Russians spoke of "The American" they had locked in one of their hideout's rooms (one of which also has a Demogorgon), many speculated that this person was Dr. Martin Brenner. If the Russians are so keen on understanding The Upside Down, and Eleven (who got in their way in season 3) it would make sense that they'd be holding the man who knows the most about both.
The show will likely need to use some plot device to pull the Byers family from their new home, back to Hawkins.
While the new season will likely spend some time there or elsewhere — The Duffers told EW that Season 4 is "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." — I doubt the show would end without a return to where it all began.
In an interview with Teen Vogue, Sadie Sink said her character Max will likely spend some time hiding the trauma of losing her brother Billy: "I think it makes sense for her, because that’s kind of as messed up as their relationship was ... [Billy’s death] still really affects the dynamic within her family. But in true Max fashion, she’s not going to let anyone see how she’s really feeling at some points. You see her just pretending that everything’s fine, when really, everything’s changed for her. She’s in a completely different emotional headspace."
The last big of unresolved business is how Eleven has lost her powers, and will probably spend some time trying to regain them. Will Brenner be crucial to that as well?