The wait for Stranger Things season 4 has been long, but fans can rejoice now that the trailer is here! The action-packed footage shows Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) being told that she must return to Hawkins to fight the ultimate “war.” In Hawkins, Mike, Dustin, Lucas, Max, and the rest of Eleven’s pals are facing new threats from the Upside Down. David Harbour’s Jim Hopper is confirmed to be alive as he’s held prisoner in Russia. Buckle up, season 4 is about to be the TV event of the summer.
Netflix revealed in Feb. 2022 that Stranger Things season 4 will be split into two volumes. HollywoodLife is breaking down what we know so far about the release date, filming, the cast, and the season 4 plot.
‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 Release Date
Stranger Things 4 will debut in two volumes in 2022. The first volume of episodes will drop on May 27. Volume 2 will be released on July 1. The Duffer Brothers addressed fans in an open letter explaining why there will be two volumes instead of the usual full season drop:
“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. 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. Volume One will release on May 27th; Volume Two will release five weeks later on July 1st.”
Stranger Things season 4 was confirmed by Netflix in September 2019. The streaming service released a season 4 announcement video on September 30, 2019, and it teased an ominous message: “We’re not in Hawkins anymore.”
The cast did their first table read for season 4 back in March 2020. Netflix released a behind-the-scenes video in celebration of the season 4 kickoff. However, production was shut down in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We shared the news with our cast and crew that we would be pausing production out of an abundance of caution. There were no sick crew members, no one was exhibiting symptoms, but it seemed like the right thing to do,” executive producer and director Shawn Levy told Variety.
Production did not resume filming until October 2020, so the wait for season 4 is going to be a long one. There was nearly a two-year wait between seasons 2 and 3. The show may have been following that timeline initially, which would have put season 4 around the summer of 2021. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic and production delays, the show was unable to premiere before 2022.
What About Season 5?
The latter portion of the Duffer Brothers’ open letter to fans revealed that season 5 will be the last season of Stranger Things. While season 4 is upon us, the creators noted that it’s “also the beginning of the end.”
The letter continued: “Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for Stranger Things. At the time, ew predicted the story would last four to five seasons. It proved too large to tell in four, but — as you’ll soon see for yourselves — we are not hurtling toward our finale. Season 4 will be the penultimate season; season 5 will be the last.
There are still many more exciting stories to tell within the world of Stranger Things; new mysteries, new adventures, new unexpected heroes. 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. As always, we are grateful for your patience and support.”
‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 Poster
Along with the announcement of the season 4 release dates, Netflix also shared 4 new posters for everyone to enjoy. The first poster released featured Hopper, Joyce, and Murray in a snowy Russia. “001. Russia. Getting the band back together. Bring a jacket,” the caption reads.
The second poster is Eleven walking down the hallway in the Hawkins Lab. She’s headed towards the Upside Down. “002. The Lab. Every story starts somewhere,” the poster’s caption reads.
The third poster takes us to Creel House, a new location in season 4. Nancy, Robin, Steve, Dustin, Erica, Max, and Lucas are all together and getting ready for their next adventure. The caption: “003. Creel House. Tick-tock.”
The fourth and final poster features Mike, Will, Jonathan, and a mystery girl. “004. California. Hold onto your butts, brochachos,” the caption says.
‘Stranger Things 4’ Episode Titles
A video released on Stranger Things Day (November 6) revealed the episode titles for the upcoming fourth season: “The Hellfire Club,” “Vecna’s Curse,” “The Monster and the Superhero,” “Dear Billy,” “The Nina Project,” “The Dive,” “The Massacre at Hawkins Lab,” “Papa,” and “Piggyback.”
“Dear Billy” is an episode title that has caught all of our eyes. This title is a clear reference to Billy Hargrove, Max’s brother, who sacrificed himself while battling the Mindflayer in the season 3 finale. Another notable episode title is “Papa,” which is Eleven’s name for Hopper.
Season 4 Teasers
In honor of Stranger Things Day, a new teaser was unveiled. The footage reveals that Eleven and the Byers have moved to California. Eleven writes a letter to Mike about how excited she is for spring break. “Dear Mike, today is day 185. I think I have finally adapted,” Eleven writes. “I even like school now. I have made lots of friends. Even so, I am ready for spring break. Mostly because I get to see you. We will have the best spring break ever.”
Since this is Stranger Things, Eleven’s hopes don’t exactly go according to plan. Eleven and the others get caught up in more danger, and the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it glimpses at what’s to come have us on the edge of our seats.
A 30-second teaser was released in August 2021 and mostly included scenes from previous seasons, but there were a few blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments of season 4. One includes Eleven (with bangs!) being held back by men in suits. A very bald Hopper is holding a blowtorch in another scene.
uʍop ǝpᴉsdn ǝɥʇ uᴉ llɐ,ʎ ǝǝs
Stranger Things returns in 2022. pic.twitter.com/RHwQng4QZh
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) August 6, 2021
There’s also a brief scene of Steve underwater. Steve, Dustin, Max, Nancy, Lucas, and Robin are also looking up at something. But one thing to note: there’s no Will, Mike, Jonathan, or Joyce in these scenes. “Stranger Things returns in 2022,” the caption of the video read.
The Strangers Things team hint big things were coming when they posted a cryptic video on May 5. The video was titled “HNL Control Room” and featured 7 analog TV screens arranged in a circle as music played in the background. Static noise was only on the screens until the TVs turned on one at a time for a few seconds.
The images included a door handle, chessboard, an eight ball, and more. All these things had blood spatters on them. There were also strange shots of CCTV footage.
This video tied directly to the season 4 teaser that was released the very next day on May 6. The teaser features a major return in the form of Matthew Modine‘s Dr. Brenner. Kids who look similar to season 1 Eleven are seen in a room playing chess, and more. Dr. Brenner walks into the room and greets these “children.” They respond by calling him “papa.”
You can hear a clearly scared Eleven breathing heavily. Off-camera, Dr. Brenner can be heard asking Eleven, “Eleven, are you listening.” All of a sudden, Eleven opens her eyes.
Season 4 Filming
Season 4 started filming in Atlanta, Georgia, in early 2020. Production was shut down in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. By June 2020, the Stranger Things writers had written the entire fourth season. After several months of delays, season 4 filming resumed in late 2020. Production intended to start up again on September 28, 2020, according to Deadline. The official Stranger Things Twitter account confirmed filming had resumed by posting a photo from the set on Oct. 1. “Today in Hawkins…” the tweet read.
Today in Hawkins… pic.twitter.com/WU1I4p5cZK
— Netflix (@netflix) October 1, 2020
Atlanta wasn’t the only place the show filmed. Scenes in Lithuania were filmed prior to the main production starting up in Atlanta, according to the Official Development Agency of the City of Vilnius. Pre-production in Lithuania began in November 2019 and filming ended in February 2020. The show filmed at the Lukiškes Prison and other locations in Lithuania. Those scenes likely featured David Harbour’s Jim Hopper, who is now being held prisoner in Russia.
Gaten Matarazzo gave an update on the filming process during a Twitch live stream in Oct. 2020. “It’s pretty good, I think. You know, it’s funny we’re in the middle of filming it, and we film very sporadically. So we don’t film in chronological order, so we’ll film scenes from episode 8 and we just started and I haven’t even read past episode 4.” HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Gaten in Jan. 2021, and he revealed that filming is happening “slowly, but surely. [Filming] already is basically playing it by ear anyway, but the pandemic on top of it just makes scheduling a lot harder.”
‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 Cast
All of your faves from season 3 are set to return, with the exception of Dacre Montgomery’s Billy, who died saving Eleven and the rest of the crew from the Mind Flayer at the end of season 3. As for Shannon Purser’s Barb, she’s still very much dead. See below for the details on all the returning cast members, as well as the newcomers joining the Netflix series.
Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven
Millie Bobby Brown is back as Eleven. She is adjusting to life at a new school without her boyfriend Mike, who is still in Hawkins. Eleven lost her powers at the end of season 3, but she’s definitely going to need them back for what’s to come in season 4. In the trailer, she’s warned that her friends in Hawkins are “in the eye of the storm, and that “without you, we can’t win this war.”
Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler
Finn Wolfhard‘s Mike Wheeler is forced to spend his high school experience in Hawkins without his girlfriend, Eleven. Mike typically takes the leadership role with his friends. That should be the case in season 4, when the Hawkins residents face another threat from the Upside Down.
Noah Schnapp as Will Byers
Will Byers, played by Noah Schnapp, now lives in California with his mom Joyce, his brother Jonathan, and Eleven. Will has a connection to the Upside Down ever since he was kidnapped in season 1. He’ll definitely played a major role in this new season.
Caleb MacLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair
Caleb McLaughlin is back as Lucas Sinclair, a pivotal member of the beloved Hawkins squad. The trailer shows Lucas on a sports team for Hawkins, as his pals Mike and Dustin cheer him on. But nothing stays normal in Hawkins for long. Lucas and his friends quickly get caught up in a “war” that requires Eleven’s help.
Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson
Gaten Matarazzo will be bringing more comedy as his beloved character, Dustin Henderson. In season 3, Dustin helped stop the Mind Flyer thanks to his girlfriend Suzie, whom he met at summer camp. Dustin and the rest of the Hawkins kids are thrust into a battle with a new foe from the Upside Down in the upcoming season. Let’s hope Dustin can save the day again!
Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield
Sadie Sink is back as Max Mayfield for season 4, but she’s mourning the loss of her brother Billy. The trailer shows Max talking to Billy at his grave. “Dear Billy, I don’t know if you can even hear this,” she says. “Ever since you left everything’s been a total disaster. For a while we tried to be happy, normal. I know that’s impossible.”
Joe Keery as Steve Harrington
Fan-favorite Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) is also returning for season 4. Steve has become a mentor to the younger Hawkins kids, especially Dustin. He also formed a close bond with Robin in the last season. The season 4 trailer shows Steve and Nancy teaming up again to fend off a new threat from the Upside Down.
Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler
Natalia Dyer is back as Nancy Wheeler, Will’s older sister, who sometimes finds herself in a love triangle with Steve and Jonathan. In season 4, she’s fully focused on keeping herself and her loved ones safe from evil. “See you on the other side,” Steve tells Nancy in the trailer, over ominous music, as Nancy replies, “On the other side.”
Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers
Charlie Heaton is returning as Jonathan Byers, who now lives in California with his family and Eleven. But Jonathan won’t be missing from the action of season 4, as the new West Coast residents learn of a threat against Hawkins. We’ll also hopefully get to see Jonathan reunite with his former love interest, Nancy.
Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley
Maya Hawke joined Stranger Things in season 3 as Robin Buckley, and she’s back for season 4. Robin formed a close bond with Steve and revealed that she was a lesbian in a beautiful moment. She’s now part of the Hawkins squad and will join them for this epic “war.”
Priah Ferguson as Erica Sinclair
Fans absolutely love Priah Ferguson as the sassy Erica Sinclair, younger sister of Lucas. She’s back for season 4 and based on the trailer, she’s not staying away from the chaos ensuing in Hawkins. We know Erica will deliver more iconic moments in the new season.
David Harbour as Jim Hopper
Hopper lives! David Harbour‘s character appeared to die at the end of season 3, but the final scene hinted that he was a prisoner in Russia. That’s now been confirmed, so season 4 will definitely explore Hopper’s imprisonment and how he hopefully gets free and reunites with his daughter figure, Eleven.
Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers
Winona Ryder is returning as Joyce Byers in season 4. Joyce has moved to California with her sons, Will and Jonathan, and Eleven. She’s in the mix in the ominous mysteries in the season 4 trailer. Hopefully she can reunite with the rest of the Hawkins residents and Hopper.
Cara Buono as Karen Wheeler
Cara Buono is back as Will and Nancy’s mom, Karen Wheeler. Karen almost started up an affair with Billy in season 3, until he got possessed by the Mind Flayer. Season 4 looks like its going to be the biggest season yet for Mrs. Wheeler.
Brett Gelman as Murray Bauman
Last but not least, Brett Gelman is returning as Murray Bauman, who was a recurring character in the second and third seasons. Murray is a former investigative journalist who is hired to look into Barb’s disappearance, and becomes thrust into a possible Russian invasion. He was with Joyce when they watched Hopper die — or so they thought.
Jamie Campbell Bower as Peter Ballard
Jamie Campbell Bower is among the new cast members in Stranger Things season 4. He plays Peter Ballard, a caring man who works as an orderly at a psychiatric hospital.
Eduardo Franco as Argyle
Eduardo Franco stars as Argyle, Jonathan’s new BFF who is also a fun-loving stoner who proudly delivers delicious pizza pies for Surfer Boy Pizza. It’ll be interesting to see if he learns of what went down in Hawkins that caused Jonathan and his family to relocate to California.
Joseph Quinn as Eddie Munson
Joseph Quinn is Eddie Munson, the head of the Hawkins High official D&D Club, The Hellfire Club. It seems like Eddie is going to be at odds with some of our favorites in Hawkins, including Dustin.
Robert Englund as Victor Creel
Robert Englund who will play Victor Creel, a disturbed and intimidating man who is imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital for a gruesome murder in the 1950s. Robert is best known for playing Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street films.
Mason Dye as Jason Carver
Mason Dye is Jason Carver, a handsome, rich athlete who is dating the most popular girl in school, However, as a new evil threatens Hawkins, his perfect world begins to unravel. Could he become a victim to the Upside Down? Only time will tell.
Sherman Augustus as Lt. Colonel Sullivan
Sherman Augustus will star as Lt. Colonel Sullivan, an intelligent, no-nonsense man who believes he knows how to stop the evil in Hawkins once and for all. Eleven, Mike and the others are definitely going to need Colonel Sullivan’s help if they wish to make it out of season 4 in one piece.
Nikola Djuricko as Yuri
Nikola Djuricko will play Yuri, a seedy and unpredictable Russian smuggler who loves bad jokes, cold hard cash, and crunchy style peanut butter.
Tom Wlaschiha as Dmitri
Tom Wlaschiha will play Dmitri, a smart and charming Russian prison guard. He’ll definitely interact with Hopper, who is being held in a Russian prison cell. Let’s hope Hopper can get past Dmitri and escape!
Amybeth McNulty as Vickie
Anne With an E star Amybeth McNulty has joined the cast as Vickie, a “cool, fast-talking band nerd who catches the eye of one of our beloved heroes.” The Netflix Geeked account previously shared a video of Amybeth on set with the Duffer brothers.
Myles Truitt as Patrick
Myles Truitt will play Patrick, a “Hawkins basketball star who has friends, talent, and a good life…until shocking events send his life spiraling out of control.” Myles appears to be teammates with Lucas, so a friendship could be struck there.
Regina Ting Chen as Ms. Kelly
Regina Ting Chen is Ms. Kelly, a “popular guidance counselor who cares deeply for her students — especially those struggling the most.” Regina’s previous acting credits include Spider-Man: No Way Home, where she played a reporter.
Grace Van Dien as Chrissy
Grace Van Dien will star as Chrissy, who is “Hawkins’ High lead cheerleader and the most popular girl in school. But beneath the seemingly perfect surface lies a dark secret.” We’ll have to wait and see if Chrissy gets along with the other characters at Hawkins High.
Levon Thurman-Hawke, Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke’s second child and Maya’s brother, was spotted on set back with Joe Keery in October 2020 in photos obtained by Daily Mail. His character has not been revealed or confirmed, but he was giving off a major punk rock vibe in the set photos.
What’s In Store For Season 4?
Season 3 ended on a dramatic and bittersweet note. After a major build-up, the Stranger Things crew faced off with the Mind Flayer in the epic Battle of Starcourt. While Billy had been under the Mind Flayer’s control for most of the season, he came back to himself when Eleven shared a memory she had seen of him with his mother. Billy ended up sacrificing himself to save Eleven. Meanwhile, Hopper battled a Russian assassin and seemingly died in an explosion when Joyce had to close the gate to the Upside Down. The show then picked up in the aftermath with Eleven now staying with the Byers. The final scene of season 3 featured Eleven reading Hopper’s heartbreaking letter and Joyce giving her kids and Eleven a fresh start outside of Hawkins.
As expected, many of the details surrounding season 4 are being kept under wraps by creators Matt and Ross Duffer, as well as the additional Stranger Things writers. As of right now, we don’t know what year the show will take place. But here’s what we do know about the first episode of season 4: it’s titled “The Hellfire Club.” The Stranger Things Twitter account shared a photo of the season 4 premiere script and a graphic of the Hellfire Club.
how it started how it's going pic.twitter.com/ylNmU2sGRu
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) November 6, 2020
The first season 4 teaser was unveiled in February 2020. The teaser took fans all the way to snowy Kamchatka in Russia. Men are working hard on a railroad in the snow as officers watch with dogs and guns by their sides. The teaser zooms in on the one and only Hopper. He takes off his hat and his head has been shaved. The teaser confirmed that Hopper would return in season 4 after seemingly dying in the season 3 finale. A post-credits scene at the end of season 3 featured operatives in Russian talking about an “American” they had in custody. While many fans assumed it was Hopper, no one knew for sure until the teaser.
The Duffer Brothers released the following statement along with the teaser: “We’re excited to officially confirm that production on Stranger Things 4 is now underway — and even more excited to announce the return of Hopper! Although it’s not all good news for our ‘American’; he is imprisoned far from home in the snowy wasteland of Kamchatka, where he will face dangers both human… and other. Meanwhile, back in the states, a new horror is beginning to surface, something long buried, something that connects everything… Season 4 is shaping up to be the biggest and most frightening season yet, and we cannot wait for everyone to see more. In the meantime — pray for the American.”
David Harbour revealed that season 4 will peel back the layers on Jim Hopper and fans will “get to see some of Hopper’s deep backstory,” according to TV Line (via Deadline). “I’m really excited to let people see these really deep colors in him,” David said. “Each season we see a different side of him. Last season was… a bit wackier, and I loved playing that. Now [in season 4] he is painted in a bit of a darker palette; he’s able to express some of these really deep things that we’ve… hinted at with the boxes in season 2.”
— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) June 18, 2020
Originally, season 4 was initially going to consist of 8 episodes like the first and third seasons. When the Stranger Things writers revealed via Twitter that they had finished writing the full season, there were 9 scripts instead of 8. Natalia Dyer revealed that quarantine gave the Stranger Things writers more time to expand the story. “Normally, we get the first few scripts, and then they have to keep writing due to the schedule of it,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “And it takes a while to craft a script. So, normally, there’s a kind of ‘writing as we’re going,’ but it seems they’ve had enough time. 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.”