Stranger Things season 4 release dates just announced — and season 5 will end the show

Noah Schnapp, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Caleb McLaughlin and Sadie Sink will return for Stranger Things season 4
(Image credit: Netflix)

Update: Binge lovers don't need to worry — Stranger Things 5 won't switch to a weekly release model

The Upside Down is splitting into two when it returns. Netflix has finally set the Stranger Things season 4 release date — and revealed that the nine new episodes will be split into two installments. The streamer and co-creators Matt and Ross Duffer also announced that Stranger Things season 5 will be the final season of the hit supernatural series.

Netflix tweeted that volume 1 will premiere May 27 and volume 2 will follow shortly after on July 1.

Fans are likely breathing a sigh of relief that the wait won't be much longer to see more of one of the best Netflix shows. It'll be nearly three years since season 3 dropped on the Fourth of July 2019. That's even worse than the longest Droughtlander!

Of course, production was halted and delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Filming on season 4 first began all the way back in February 2020, aka the Before Times. And it didn't wrap until September 2021, as confirmed by cast member Noah Schnapp.

In an open letter to fans, the Duffers explained why season 4 has been split into two installments that will drop just weeks apart.

"With nine scripts, over eight-hundred pages, almost two years of filming, thousands of visual effects shots and a runtime nearly twice the length of any previous season, Stranger Things 4 was the most challenging season yet, but also the most rewarding one," they wrote.

"Everyone involved is incredibly proud of the results, and we can’t wait to share it with you. Given the unprecedented length, and to get it to you as soon as possible, Season 4 will be released in two volumes.”

Along with the release dates, Netflix proffered the season 4 poster, which depicts Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) heading down a hallway toward a fiery portal. Meanwhile, the other characters are doing the same thing, but upside down and sideways.

Stranger Things season 4 poster art

(Image credit: Netflix)

Stranger Things season 5 is the end of the road

Eleven's journey in season 4 is unlikely to be doomed, since Netflix and the Duffer brothers have declared that a fifth and final season will close out the Stranger Things story.

“Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for Stranger Things,” the Duffers wrote in an open letter to fans. “At the time, we predicted the story would last four to five seasons. It proved too large to tell in four but — as you’ll see for yourselves — we are now hurtling toward our finale."

Filming on season 5 hasn't started yet, so we can't even begin to speculate when it might come out. Let's hope it isn't three years from now.

Stranger Things spinoffs are a possibility

While Stranger Things season 5 is the last chapter of the series, the Duffer brothers hinted that spinoffs could be forthcoming.

"There are still many more exciting stories to tell within the world of Stranger Things: new mysteries, new adventures, new unexpected heroes," they wrote. 

How about a "Steve and Dustin go to Hollywood" buddy comedy? Or a detective caper featuring Erica? A spooky thriller set in a different world that touches the Upside Down? The possibilities are endless.

The Duffers continued, "But first, we hope that you stay with us as we finish this tale of a powerful girl named Eleven and her brave friends, of a broken police chief and a ferocious mom, of a small town called Hawkins and an alternate dimension known only as the Upside Down.”

While you wait for Stranger Things, you can check out the brand-new Cuphead Show on Netflix, the reboot of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and other new on Netflix titles. Plus, Netflix's Marvel shows are leaving the service soon, so watch them before they go! In bad news for fans of Netflix sci-fi, original series Another Life has just been cancelled after two seasons. 

Kelly Woo
Streaming Editor

Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.