Stranger Things season 4 was only supposed to be scarier to watch — now, it's apparently coming with a side of fear about being spoiled. And it's all thanks to a board game.
Yes, photos of a Stranger Things Monopoly game have been flying around online since April (we've seen them on Twitter — but won't share them here to avoid accidental spoilers) right now. One teases a character's death, another reveals decisions made by Eleven and the other, well, it's about Jim Hopper's time in the Russian prison.
But even though the leak happened last month, it's gotten more attention today via a report from The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab). According to its sources, showrunners The Duffer Brothers had a "total meltdown" about the leak. Netflix execs weren't happy either. More frustratingly, the Duffers apparently weren't consulted about the game at all, so imagine their shock and surprise.
How did this happen? Well, over on reddit, moderator killthemwithcoffee (opens in new tab) claims that the game wasn't actually leaked in the sense you might expect. It appears to be a problem at retail as the mod notes this copy was "purchased fair and square by a consumer. Nobody stole it; nobody leaked a sample." Which retailer? Well, killthemwithcoffee seems to suggest it was Target, noting "Netflix can’t really do anything except maybe write a pissed off letter to Target who can fire the employee if they care enough. Maybe they can fine them, but that would be an issue for Target buyers and the Netflix counterparts to sort out."
Analysis: And this is why we waited for Baby Yoda merch
Remember how long it was between The Mandalorian's release and the first official Baby Yoda toys? Well, this is a strong reminder of why those delays happen. And it appears that it may not happen again.
THR's source said "Lessons have been learned and, I expect, there will be more cohesion going into season five." After Netflix reportedly spent around $30 million USD per episode of Stranger Things season 4, we doubt they'd want to risk damaging that investment again.
Oh, and while we're not sure we've seen every single card from the Stranger Things season 4 monopoly game, we do want to note that the ones we've seen don't leak anything shockingly huge. But a spoiler is a spoiler, so we're doubtful that our assessment will be of any comfort to the Duffers.