Stranger Things is returning for a fourth season on Netflix at some point in 2021. Production on season 4 has begun ramping up since shutting down in early 2020. Here’s everything you need to know about season 4 of Stranger Things so far, including production updates, what to expect and who’s returning.
The show really requires no introduction as one of Netflix’s biggest flagship shows that first arrived on Netflix (at the time without a huge amount of fanfare) in July 2016.
So, let’s get to it. Here’s everything you need to know on Stranger Things season four last updated in September 2020.
The Road to the renewal of Stranger Things Season 4
Official renewal status: Renewed (last updated: 09/30/2019)
After a few days worth of teasing leading up to September 30th, 2019 Netflix finally confirmed that Stranger Things would be returning for a fourth season.
In addition, Netflix has signed a multi-year deal with The Duffer Brothers. This deal is on top of the one Netflix already has with Shawn Levy who is a producer on the show.
The announcement of season four came accompanied by a video that had the caption: “We’re not in Hawkins anymore”.
As for release date, 2021 is the earliest season four will show up. Depending on when production can get back on track, we don’t think it’s likely until summer 2021 at the very earliest.
Production updates for Stranger Things season 4
What is the production status of Stranger Things season 4: Production ongoing – New Mexico to begin in December 2020 (Last updated: 11/05/2020)
In mid-June 2020, we got confirmation that the entire script had been completed for Stranger Things season 4.
When is filming for Stranger Things 4 taking place?
We know that filming for Stranger Things season 4 originally began on January 7th, 2020. We also learned that filming was originally scheduled to conclude by August 5th, 2020.
The Hollywood Report broke the news on July 2nd, 2020 that the series rescheduled to restart filming on September 17th, 2020. But that was then later delayed to September 28th, 2020.
StrangerThingsSpoilers on Twitter have been hot on the heels of catching everything they can to do with the production of Stranger Things season 4.
— StrangerThingsSpoilers (@SThingsSpoilers) October 14, 2020
With Steve and Robin now working at the arcade, lots of filming has taken place on location.
— StrangerThingsSpoilers (@SThingsSpoilers) October 22, 2020
On October 31st, in a Twitch stream, Gaten Matarazzo confirmed that they had started filming episode 8 (the final episode) of season 4.
Speaking in an interview with Collider, Shawn Levy commented on the filming delays earlier in 2020 saying:
“I’ll just say the pandemic definitely massively delayed shooting and therefore the launch of our current Season 4, date still TBD. But it impacted very positively by allowing the Duffer brothers, for the first time ever, to write the entire season before we shoot it and to have time to rewrite in a way that they rarely had before so the quality of these screenplays are exceptional, maybe better than ever.”
Where is filming taking place?
For the first time in the show’s history, some of the production will take place outside of Atlanta.
As we learned from the teaser trailer, the team behind Stranger Things had begun filming extensively in Vilnius, Lithuania. Alongside set pictures, Movieweb announced they had wrapped filming at that location in February 2020.
The bulk of the filming will once again take place in Atlanta, Georgia.
In Georgia, the series films in multiple locations we’ve seen before. You can find a full list of all the known Georgia filming spots for Stranger Things here. It was also reported that filming has also taken place in Rome (a city in Georgia). The production code for ST4 according to Atlanta Magazine is MCFLY, M247 MULE.
You can see some leaked footage from Stranger Things season 4 in this video posted to Twitter.
We also got confirmation that we will be heading back to Hawkins High School and the Arcade first introduced in season 2.
As of mid-to-late October 2020, filming was still taking place including locations such as the Arcade as seen in this undercover footage seen below.
Will season 4 be the last season of Stranger Things?
Looking beyond season four of Stranger Things is difficult, especially as we don’t know how the story will wrap up in the new season yet.
Shawn Levy, however, has spoken about the future of the show saying:
“I mean I will say we have a good sense of stuff that happens in season 4. Season 4 is definitely happening. There’s very much the possibility of a season beyond that one, that’s currently undecided. And what I would just say is part of the chaos and fun of this particular show is that while the Duffers and the writer’s room and we producers outline the entire season, the Duffers really use the writing process to revisit, reassess and question all of their prior assumptions.
So even though we always start off with a good sense of the major arcs of the season. We’re always ready for shifts and surprises because if the Duffers stumble into a different or surprising inspiration while they rewrite the script, we’re going to follow that inspiration and throw out some ideas in order to embrace some new ones that are more exciting. And I have no doubt that season 3 will be no exception.”
What do the Duffer Brothers have to say?
But from what was said it’s still unclear on whether or not a fifth season is happening. Even the Duffer Brothers are uncertain about where they stand on a fifth season. In an interview with Enews, the Brothers had the following to say:
“We don’t actually know. I think, you know, four to five seasons is likely where we’ll end up, but who knows? I mean, none of this official, and we know where we want to go. We’re trying to figure out still how long it’ll take to get there, so we’ll see.”
“It’s hard, like four seems short, five seems long. So I don’t know what to do.”
We do, however, have more to look forward to from The Duffer Brothers and indeed Shawn Levy who all have exclusive output deals with Netflix over the next few years.
What’s the episode count and episode names for Stranger Things season 4?
The fourth season will also be receiving eight episodes like the first and third seasons. However, in the above picture from the Writers Room, there appear to be nine scripts present.
On November 7th (which is Stranger Things Day), the Stranger Writers Twitter account announced the name of the first episode and who’s writing it.
- Episode 401 – “Chapter One: The Hellfire Club” – Written by The Duffer Brothers
looking for new members… are you in? pic.twitter.com/P1xAWNUPss
— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) November 7, 2019
What can we expect from Stranger Things season 4?
Season three left us with plenty to ponder for next season. We can expect some of the following to be revealed.
Who is “The American?”
This question has since been answered thanks to the teaser Netflix dropped for Stranger Things season four.
How did Hopper survive? Well, we never saw Hopper’s body disintegrated by the outburst of power from the Russian’s machine but left to assume the worst.
Hopper must have used the opening between worlds by the machine to jump from Hawkins to Kamchatka. Alternatively, he may have ended up in the Upside Down, only to be caught by Russians.
There’s every chance that Hopper could use the machine to make a return journey to the USA. We suspect that the pet demogorgon being held by the Russians could have a part to play in Hopper’s eventual escape.
Are the Byers and Eleven going to return to Hawkins?
After the tearful goodbye to their friends and Hawkins, the Byers and Eleven have moved away to pastures new. Before leaving Mike and Eleven have made it clear they’ll be talking to and visiting as often as they can. Mike will go to the Byers place for Thanksgiving, and Eleven will ask Joyce if she can stay at Mike’s for Christmas.
It’s our hope the next season will be based at Christmas, which would give writers an easy reason to write characters to be in Hawkins at the same time. Regardless, characters such as Eleven and Will are critical to the story thanks to their connection to the Upside Down.
Jonathan’s return to Hawkins would coincide with his relationship with Nancy Wheeler. As for Joyce, she’d likely tag along just to make sure Will and Eleven are safe.
How will the Mindflayer return?
If anyone thought the Mindflayer was destroyed is sadly mistaken. The creature seen throughout the third season was a conduit used by the Mindflayer and not the Mindflayer itself. With the connection between the Upside Down and our world shut, the conduit body lost its “signal” to the Midnlfayer thus the body was destroyed.
The Mindflayer is safe and sound in the Upside Down but is trapped for now. He’ll definitely be returning with a vengeance and will likely look to enact his revenge on the town of Hawkins after being thwarted twice.
As to how he returns will be very interesting. The past two occasions when he’s possessed humans have not gone to plan. Arguably possessing one of the Russians would be a far better option than a teenager from Hawkins.
Have the Russians tamed a Demogorgon?
The big reveal at the end of the fourth season was shown to be a Demogorgon had been captured by the Russians. At first, it looked the Russians had found a Demodog until it stood on its hind legs revealing the true form of the creature.
The Russians plan to tear open a portal to the Upside Down in Kamchatka must have been a success. While the facility in Hawkins was shut down, the Kamchatkan base is still fully functional. Given time to perfect the research, the machine may now give the Russians access to Upside Down as and when they please.
How they came to capture a Demogorgon is unclear but perhaps they were able to find one of the spawns similar to Dustin’s pet D’Artagan in season two. This would give pause to reason that the Demodogs are in fact the juvenile or puppy stage of the Demogorgon.
Dustin’s connection to D’Artagan also gives us reason to believe that creatures from the Upside Down can form bonds, however small. So if the Russians raised this particular Demogorgon from birth/spawn, then maybe they were able to tame the monster. Or of least the Demogorgon likes to be fed on a regular basis and the Russians can study the creature. Also, the Demogorgon has the ability to go in and out of the Upside Down, which leads us to wonder why it willingly would stay in a cage.
More experiments to appear?
In the second season, we learned that Eleven wasn’t the only experiment to escape the Department of Energy. Eight was also able to escape and she made it her mission to take down the people related to the experiments. Like Eleven, Eight also exhibited powers of her own. Instead of telekinetic abilities like Eleven’s, Eight could cast illusions, become invisible through her illusions and also clairvoyance.
We didn’t see any further experiments in season 3 but director and executive producer Shawn Levy heavily hinted we could see more in the future:
“I think we’ve clearly implied there are other numbers, and I can’t imagine that the world will only ever know Eleven and Eight”
Several cast members and crew members have been speaking about season 4 so here’s a roundup of what they’ve been saying.
“It’s going to be epic. There’s lots of great surprises and all your favorite people are in it, It’s going to be so good. It’s so epic. I’ve gotten to read through almost eight scripts now, it’s pretty awesome. I don’t know how many we’re going to get.”
David Harbour has teased what’s in store for Hopper for season 4 saying:
“I know specifically that in Season 4 we will give you a big, huge reveal about Hopper’s backstory”
There’s also been a good few other leaks about season 4 which include:
- Three more teens supposedly joining the main cast
- Starcourt Mall will return
- Dr. Brenner has been rumored to still be alive.
- A new house (likely where Will and family move to) will feature in the new season.
Casting announcements for season 4 of Stranger Things
The biggest casting question going into season 4 was whether David Harbour would be returning.
Thanks to a tweet from Netflix in February 2020, we now have confirmation that David Harbour will be returning to the role of Jim Hopper in season 4.
A welcome gift on Valentine’s Day? Stranger Things have happened. pic.twitter.com/6bUFvnyrjY
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) February 14, 2020
Thanks to the first teaser trailer, we know that Tom Wlaschiha will be featured in season 4. We know he’ll be appearing in the early sections of season 4 specifically in Russia but we’ve also heard that he will likely make his way back to Hawkins too.
— What’s on Netflix (@whatonnetflix) February 18, 2020
In late February 2020, Netflix confirmed that Priah Ferguson had been upped to a series regular for the fourth season. She played the breakout role of Erica Sinclair in season 3.
There’s plenty of new roles coming to Stranger Things in the fourth season, we’re just waiting for confirmation on which actors will be cast in the new roles.
We also got word in April 2020 that Nikola Đuričko will be in season 4:
— StrangerThingsSpoilers (@SThingsSpoilers) April 6, 2020
In June 2020, most of the main cast was listed to be returning including the five main kids but one name notably missing a 2021 day is Dacre Montgomery who played Billy. His character died in season 3 so it’s not overly surprising.
In July 2020, Agents of SHIELD star Joel Stoffer was announced by ComicBook to have a role in the new season. His role is set to be small with the actor telling ComicBook:
“I don’t expect it to become anything like long term, but it’ll be coming up. They contact me and I’ll go to Georgia, to Atlanta, and shoot it when they get back up and running. ‘Cause they’ve been obviously shut down for a while.”
Additional casting took place for smaller roles in September 2020 with Backstage.com reporting that they’re looking for background actors “aged 18 and older, is wanted to play Russian types, gymnasts, and more”. This suggests to us that the Russians are coming to Hawkins.
In October 2020, we also learned that Dr. Brenner (last seen in season 2) will be returning for season 4 of the series. We’ve yet to hear this officially so stand by. Also in October, reports from the set of Stranger Things season 4 suggests that Levon Thurman-Hawke will be joining or at least appearing in season 4.
In November 2020, Netflix lifted the lid on a bunch of new cast members for the show including:
- Robert Englund as Victor Creel (as seen in Nightmare on Elm Street)
- Eduardo Franco as Argyle described as Jonathan’s new BFF.
- Jamie Campbell Bower as Peter Ballard
- Sherman Augustus as Lt. Colonel Sullivan
- Mason Dye as Jason Carver
- Tom Wlaschiha as Dmitri (announce earlier)
- Nikola Djuricko as Yuri
- Joseph Quinn as Eddie Munson
— What’s on Netflix (@whatonnetflix) November 20, 2020
As reported by StrangerThingsSpoilers, we could be seeing Kali’s Gang introduced in season 2 back as they were spotted on set.
— StrangerThingsSpoilers (@SThingsSpoilers) November 18, 2020
Other Stranger Things News
“Writer-producers Matt and Ross Duffer perform yet another masterful act of chemistry, mixing homages to a cavalcade of 1980s media to create a show that bubbles over with original fun and inclusiveness in its third season. Part science fiction, part horror, part government conspiracy drama, it fleet-footedly veers between modes and expectations, keeping viewers on their toes and the edge of their seats.”
- Milly Bobby Brown was the July 2020 featured guest on Netflix’s Queue initiative where it interviews some of the biggest stars on the platform. Dacre Montgomery was then profiled in the August 2020 edition.
- In August 2020, Stranger Things was the fourth-highest nominated Netflix Original series securing eight nominations including:
- Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Drama Series
- Outstanding Interactive Extension Of A Linear Program
- Outstanding Music Supervision
- Outstanding Drama Series
- Outstanding Sound Editing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (One Hour)
- Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (One Hour)
- Outstanding Special Visual Effects
- Outstanding Stunt Coordination For A Drama Series, Limited Series Or Movie
Are you looking forward to the release of Stranger Things season 4? Let us know down in the comments.