Work on Stranger Things 5 begins as season 4 fails to beat Squid Game

Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield in STRANGER THINGS 4
(Image credit: Netflix)

Yes, folks Stranger Things 5 is revving its motors up, and it comes at an interesting time, at least if you care about what Netflix show is the biggest of all time (in terms of popularity). But, first, let's break down the details at hand.

The @strangerwriters Twitter account, run by the writer's room for the popular Netflix series, posted a photo of their mostly blank white board yesterday (August 2). The board bears a rough version of a Stranger Things 5 logo, while the tweet is captioned "Day 1."

What this means for Stranger Things season 5 is that everything is right on schedule. We can't find the details on when Stranger Things 4 began its writers room, but we do know what star David Harbour has said about the schedule for the upcoming season.

The actor told GQ UK that "I think we’ll [shoot] next year. They’re finishing writing it this year, and they need to prep and stuff, so hopefully it’ll be this year ... But I think that’s the plan. So it’d probably come out mid-2024, based on our track record." How diplomatic of him.

And, yes, let's go back to the meta story at hand about Stranger Things 4's viewership. As Variety notes, Netflix calculates a season's popularity based on its viewership during the first 28 days of availability.

Stranger Things 4 ended that window with 1.4 billion hours viewed, which places it below the king of the mountain: Squid Game, which had 1.7 billion hours. ST4 even had an advantage of having a 5-hours longer running time of around 13 hours to Squid Game's 8. Squid Game season 2, we should note, is already in the works.

We don't know if the Stranger Things writers will even notice this news, though. The pressure to make Stranger Things 5 a great ending for the series is likely the only thing on their minds.

Consider this your spoiler warning for all things Stranger Things 4!

Analysis: What Stranger Things 5 needs

While we've got a total of 13 questions Stranger Things season 5 needs to answer, we're mostly curious about a handful of choices the show will make. While we've accepted Eddie Munson is dead, we need to know about the scale of the new season. Will the kids and adults of Hawkins still be the top line of defense? How would the U.S. government allow that to happen?

Also, Max's fate seems to be still upside-down a bit, though we think she'll play a role in offing Vecna for good. Similarly, we need Will Byers to help his friends beat the beast.

Lastly, is Stranger Things 5 going to have a larger than usual time jump to allow for the aging of the actors? Or will we just pretend they're all still young? Either way, Stranger Things 4 proved why the series is one of the best shows on Netflix, and we can't wait for more.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.