Chances are you’re desperately counting down the days to when Stranger Things Season 4 will premiere. We’ve broken down all the biggest questions about the future of the Netflix sci-fi hit below, and will keep this post updated with new developments as they are announced.
Netflix officially renewed Stranger Things for a fourth season back in September 2019. The news came with a statement from Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos:
“The Duffer Brothers have captivated viewers around the world with Stranger Things and we’re thrilled to expand our relationship with them to bring their vivid imaginations to other film and series projects our members will love. We can’t wait to see what the Duffer Brothers have in store when they step outside the world of The Upside Down.”
Stranger Things Season 4 Trailer
So far, Netflix has released one trailer for Season 4 of Stranger Things, which gives us our first glimpse of David Harbor’s Jim Hopper (HE’S ALIVE) in what appears to be a prison camp in Russia. The streamer revealed the teaser trailer on Valentine’s Day 2020, with the caption, “From Russia With Love…” Watch the teaser below:
From Russia with love… pic.twitter.com/ZWEMgy63Et
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) February 14, 2020
When Will New Episodes of Stranger Things 4 Release on Netflix?
Netflix hasn’t set a release date for Season 4 yet, but the Season 3 finale may give us some clues for when Stranger Things Season 4 will take place: Before Joyce, Will, Jonathan, and Eleven move away from Hawkins at the end of the episode, Mike and Eleven discuss visiting each other for Thanksgiving and Christmas of that year.
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While the events of Season 1 technically happened in November (and prominently featured Christmas lights) we have yet to see the show tackle Thanksgiving or Christmas – and a Christmas setting could pave the way for some awesome ’80s homages to the likes of Gremlins, Die Hard (again!), or Silent Night, Deadly Night. Season 2 took place around Halloween, while Season 3 is set in the summer in the days leading up to July 4, so if the show wants to continue with a holiday theme, Christmas would make sense – although the young cast may age too quickly for the show to believably pull off Season 4 taking place just a few months after Season 3.
In terms of when Stranger Things will actually premiere, we can look to its previous drops on Netflix for some clues. Season 1 premiered in July 2016, Season 2 in October 2017, and Season 3 in July 2019. If the Duffer brothers continue to follow this pattern, then we can assume Season 4 could premiere in October 2020. However, the show is still in the early stages of production, with plenty of shooting and post-production work ahead. So, with Season 4’s narrative possibly taking place during Christmas, perhaps a December 2020 release date isn’t out of the question?
Is Stranger Things 4 the Last Season?
Back in August 2017, the Duffer brothers gave an interview in which they said Stranger Things would end after Season 4. “We think it will be a four-season thing and then out,” Ross Duffer told Vulture.
Matt Duffer added that continuing the show past that point was possible: “We just have to keep adjusting the story,” he said, but noted, “I don’t know if we can justify something bad happening to them once a year.” Then again, a lot can change in two years, and Shawn Levy certainly seemed to think a Season 5 was on the table as recently as last April.
Season 3 expanded on the threat of the Upside Down by revealing that the Russian military was also investigating the creepy alternate dimension, potentially seeking to weaponize the creatures inhabiting the Upside Down, like the Demogorgon. That leaves a lot of narrative ground still to explore, in addition to the fact that we’ve had very little explanation into the mythology of the Upside Down, what the Mind Flayer actually wants, or why people seem so eager to venture into a creepy parallel universe full of deadly monsters in the first place.
Although Netflix doesn’t release ratings information for most of its series, Stranger Things has inarguably become a global phenomenon. According to third-party reports, is the most popular streaming show on the web, even when it’s between seasons, so there’s no reason to think that Netflix would cancel Stranger Things before the Duffer Brothers choose to end it. (If anything, the streaming network might encourage the Duffers to stretch it longer, as HBO reportedly tried to do with Game of Thrones.)
What Will Stranger Things Season 4 Be About?
Now that we have a Season 4 teaser trailer featuring Hopper alive and (mostly) well, we can assume that some of the stories will take place in Russia. While Netflix hasn’t released a full Season 4 synopsis, it did reveal a few details about Hopper in a press release message from the Duffer Brothers:
“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.”
With Hopper still in the mix, we expect Season 4 to delve much deeper into the mechanics of the Upside Down and what it might be used for: an army of attack-dog Demogorgons that Russia intends to release on an unsuspecting American public? A new energy source (since the Mind Flayer sure lets out a lot of lightning)? At this point, any explanation into the rules of the Upside Down would be welcome – and we also need to know why the Russians are forcing their prisoners to build a train track – what are they trying to transport?
We also expect Season 4 to explore what happened to Hopper while he was in the Upside Down and how he got out. From the teaser trailer, it’s difficult to ascertain exactly what kind of mental state Hopper is in, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see him utilized as a new host for the Mind Flayer (or maybe the Russians will brainwash and Winter Soldier him) just to up the emotional stakes for Eleven next season. The show will also no doubt need to deal with Eleven’s lost powers and how she gets them back.
The show has a few other loose ends to tie up before it’s over: Season 2 introduced Eleven’s “sister” from Dr. Brenner’s experiment, Eight, aka Kali – and even though fans weren’t wild about that episode, there are still a whole bunch of other super-powered kids out there who might come in handy against the Mind Flayer. We need to learn more about those experiments and the kids that were created as a result. We also need to learn the whereabouts of Dr. Brenner himself since right now he’s a Chekhov’s Gun that’s still hanging over Eleven.
And between the Byers family leaving Hawkins and the introduction of Russia, the show finally has an opportunity to expand beyond its small-town setting. Season 3 established that the town is special – at least when it comes to opening the gate to the Upside Down – but Alexei also revealed that there were other gates and other keys, which gives this conspiracy a much wider scope.
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Since half of the main characters are still in Hawkins, we’re probably not going to leave the town entirely (and hopefully people will actually start asking questions about the disappearances of so many Hawkins residents, including the newspaper’s editor and a couple of young lifeguards) but it would be nice to explore other parts of the Stranger Things universe. Still, given that the end of Season 3 also introduced the concept of “Satanic Panic” as a way of exploring the weird goings-on in Hawkins, that rising hysteria could also play a role in Season 4.
What do you hope to see in Stranger Things Season 4? Share your theories and predictions in the comments.