Good news, ‘Stranger Things’ fans. ‘Stranger Things’ season 4 is officially in the works after the COVID-19 delay. From new cast members to the status of filming, these are the key updates you need to know about.
Honestly, the year 2020 made us all feel like we were in the Upside Down. Stranger Things season 4 faced a long delay because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the show’s cast and crew are now hard at work on the new season. Stranger Things 4 is one of the most highly-anticipated seasons of television, and the Netflix series has big plans for one of its most popular shows.
In season 4, the Stranger Things kids will be crossing paths with all-new characters and enemies. Netflix has already announced a whopping 8 new cast members. So, when is Stranger Things season 4 coming out? HollywoodLife is breaking down what we know so far about filming, the cast, and the season 4 plot.
‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 Release Date
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.”
Netflix has not announced an official release date for season 4 yet. 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. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic delay, it’s likely the show won’t premiere a new season until 2022.
Filming Has Resumed
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. The main cast was revealed in the season 4 table read video: Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield), Joe Keery (Steve Harrington), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), Maya Hawke (Robin Buckley), Priah Ferguson (Erica Sinclair), David Harbour (Jim Hopper), Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), Cara Buono (Mrs. Wheeler), and Brett Gelman (Murray Bauman). After her breakout performance in season 3, Priah has been upped to a series regular in season 4, Variety reported.
The Netflix series announced a number of new cast members on Stranger Things Twitter account on November 20, 2020. Those joining include 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.
Jamie Campbell Bower will play Peter Ballard, a caring man who works as an orderly at a psychiatric hospital. Eduardo Franco will star as Argyle, Jonathan’s new BFF who is also a fun-loving stoner who proudly delivers delicious pizza pies for Surfer Boy Pizza. Joseph Quinn is Eddie Munson, the head of the Hawkins High official D&D Club, The Hellfire Club.
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. 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. 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 will play Dmitri, a smart and charming Russian prison guard.
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.
Don’t expect Dacre Montgomery’s Billy to be back unless it’s a flashback. Billy came through for the crew when they needed him the most, and he 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.
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. New cast member Joseph Quinn plays Eddie Munson, who is the head of The Hellfire Club at Hawkins High School, so he will likely be introduced in the first episode. Deadline revealed a few more insights into Eddie. “Hated by those who don’t understand him — and beloved by those who do — Eddie will find himself at the terrifying epicenter of this season’s mystery,” the outlet wrote about the character.
how it started how it's going pic.twitter.com/ylNmU2sGRu
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) November 6, 2020
A psychiatric hospital will also be a location in season 4. Both Robert Englund and Jamie Campbell Bower’s characters are tied to the psychiatric hospital. How their journeys intersect with the other main characters remains to be seen.
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.”
What About Season 5?
Rest assured, season 4 won’t be the last season if the Duffer Brothers have anything to do with it. “Season 4 won’t be the end [of Stranger Things]. We know what the end is, and we know when it is,” co-creator Ross Duffer told The Hollywood Reporter. “[The pandemic] has given us time to look ahead, figure out what is best for the show. Starting to fill that out gave us a better idea of how long we need to tell that story.”