Note: contains MAJOR spoilers for Stranger Things seasons 1-3.
If you’re not up to date, look away now.
There are some seriously big questions left hanging following season three’s explosive 77-minute finale, ‘The Battle of Starcourt’, but despair not, friends. The Netflix sci-fi horror will be back for season four, which means all of those loose ends you’ve been losing sleep over will be ironed out, or so we hope anyway.
“We’re thinking it will be a four-season thing and then out,” director Ross Duffer told Vulture.
Matt Duffer added: “We just have to keep adjusting the story…Though I don’t know if we can justify something bad happening to them once a year,”
Ross continued: “They’re going to have to get the f**k out of this town! It’s ridiculous!”
But in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, executive producer Shawn Levy suggested that the series could go one beyond that.
“Hearts were heard breaking in Netflix headquarters when the brothers made four seasons sound like an official end, and I was suddenly getting phone calls from our actors’ agents.
“The truth is we’re definitely going four seasons and there’s very much the possibility of a fifth. Beyond that, it becomes I think very unlikely.”
David Harbour, who plays Hopper, also spoke to TVLine about the importance of bowing out at the right time.
“We don’t have an open-ended thing like The Walking Dead. There is an end to all these characters,” he said.
“We’re going to give you something fun and then we’re going to get out before we’ve worn out our welcome. We have a specific story that we’re going to tell.”
So, what does the next chapter hold? Here’s everything you need to know about Stranger Things season four.
Stranger Things season 4 release date: When will it air?
There isn’t currently an official release date on the table, but there is a chance that the last season could air in October, if the Duffer brothers are following a pattern:
Season one: July, 2016
Season two – October 2017
Season three – July 2019
But whether it lands next year or in 2021 remains to be seen. A big “holiday” release – per the US calendar – seems to be the standard, though. Maybe Christmas next time?
Stranger Things season 4 cast: Who’s returning?
The hugely popular series wouldn’t be the show it is without its colourful, larger-than-life cast, so expect this lot back on your screens once again: Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Will (Noah Schnapp), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Max (Sadie Sink), Steve (Joe Keery), Nancy (Natalia Dyer), Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), Robin (Maya Hawke), Joyce (Winona Ryder), Erica (Priah Ferguson), Karen (Cara Buono) and Murray (Brett Gelman).
Someone else who popped up towards the end of season three was Dr Sam Owens (Paul Reiser), who works for the US Department of Energy and was appointed Director of Operations at Hawkins Lab following the exit of Dr Martin Brenner.
He was previously tasked with investigating the Gate to the Upside Down in a bid to stopping it from spreading, and he was the one who helped Hopper adopt Eleven. The fact that he has been reintroduced and the spotlight is once again on the threat of the Gate, not to mention the Soviets, suggests that he will play a role in the next instalment.
And speaking of Brenner – the silver-haired research scientist and former head of Hawkins Lab, who pushed Eleven too far during their experiments and ultimately caused her to open the Gate, will he also be reintroduced?
He was attacked by a Demogorgon in season one, but we didn’t actually see him die, which feels like a deliberate decision.
There were some big losses in season three. Max’s step-brother Billy (Dacre Montgomery) fell victim to the Mind Flayer. He had been used by the evil creature to carry out its nasty deeds, acting as its host, but in a dramatic twist Billy managed to overcome the MF’s control with the help of Eleven, and sacrificed himself to save Hawkins and all of its inhabitants from destruction.
We feel like nothing’s truly impossible in this show, but we’d be seriously surprised if he was to return, and we wouldn’t expect to see Mayor Larry Kline (Cary Elwes) again, following his arrest. It feels like that character has fulfilled his purpose.
Tragically, it also looks like we’ve lost Hopper (David Harbour), after Joyce shut down the machine and in turn, appeared to blow him to smithereens. But somehow, we feel like that’s not the last we’ve seen of Hawkins’ chief of police, especially given the mention of “the American” in the show’s final moments. (Unless, of course, that’s Brenner, or Eleven’s dad, supposedly killed in action in Vietnam, or Murray. Where exactly is he at the end of season three?)
Stranger Things season 4 spoilers and plot: What will happen?
Season three wrapped up on an extremely emotional note as Joyce, Will and Jonathan packed up their home in Hawkins and jumped in a removals van with Eleven in tow following Hopper’s apparent death.
We don’t know where they’re going but with a fourth season on the cards, they’ll be back. Whatever obstacles are thrown at them, the gang always find a way to reunite.
There’s also one very big change: Eleven has seemingly lost her powers, unable to even lift her teddy bear off the top shelf of her wardrobe. But we’re with Mike. Her psychokinetic abilities will be back. We hope. We think. Right? Guys?
Then there’s that scene right at the end – and while the Gate looked like it had been shut, with another season (or two) to go, surely that’s not the last we’ve seen of it?
The Soviets, despite suffering a colossal setback, are not done yet. They have a Demogorgon in captivity (is that evidence that the Gate hasn’t been properly shut, only stalled, or are Demogorgons able to open their own mini Gates/tears in the fabric of reality?)
But what they’re planning – possibly an army of Demogorgons – remains a mystery.
And as stated previously, there was a reference to “the American”, which opens up a number of possibilities.
Stranger Things season 4 trailer: When can I watch it?
We’re predicting quite a wait for this one, folks.