“Stranger Things” did not disappoint after the nearly three-year wait between Seasons 3 and 4. The cast aged offscreen, but the events in the fourth season would age anybody, especially when it involves trying to save the world.
The supersized Season 4 built up much backstory with its nine episodes — each at least over an hour long, with the finale taking two hours and twenty minutes to unfold. It was also split into two volumes, the first half containing the majority of the episodes, leaving us with the epic reveal of Vecna’s true identity. The finale of Season 4 spelled out some impending doom for the small town of Hawkins, Indiana.
The Duffer Brothers have already started dropping hints about the fifth and final season of their science fiction drama series, and the writer’s room is open. Here’s what we know about “Stranger Things” Season 5 so far:
Season 5 will be the last season of “Stranger Things”
When Season 4’s release dates were announced, the Duffers also confirmed that it was the beginning of the end, with Season 4 being the penultimate season, and Season 5 the final installment of the beloved series.
Production on Season 5 was halted due to the current WGA writers’ strike, but the writers are back
The Duffer brothers tweeted that they will not start production on the final season until a fair deal is reached for the writers’ strike, which began in May.
Duffers here. Writing does not stop when filming begins. While we’re excited to start production with our amazing cast and crew, it is not possible during this strike. We hope a fair deal is reached soon so we can all get back to work. Until then — over and out. #wgastrong
— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) May 6, 2023
With the end of the WGA strike Sept. 26, the writers officially tweeted that they have gone back to work.
The actors, though are still on strike via SAG-AFTRA, so production cannot officially begin until they resolve a fair deal with the AMPTP.
“I can say that we are hoping to start filming as soon as possible. We really need the actor’s strike resolved first. The Duffers have been hard at work since the writer strike ended,” Shawn Levy recently told TheWrap. We’re busy on a bunch of fronts because we also have our ‘Stranger Things’ play opening in London imminently. It’s fabulous. It’s f–king awesome.”
The writer’s room for Season 5 started on August 2, 2022
The Duffer Brothers said that the Season 5 writer’s room will begin in August. Filming could then start in 2023, with a potential release in 2024 or 2025.
“We’re going to take a little vacation in July,” Ross Duffer told Collider. “And then we’re going to come back. I know that the writer’s room is going to start in that first week of August.”
The team was sure to let the world know when it started, which turned out to be Aug. 2.
In the same interview, the brothers revealed that they have most of Season 5 outlined and written thanks to the six month gap from production that the COVID pandemic caused.
As of Sept. 26, the “grid” in the writer’s room was complete, showing what looks to be eight episodes’ worth of story outlined.
Season 5 will primarily take place in Hawkins
In an interview with Collider, the Duffer Brothers confirmed that Season 5 will mostly take place in Hawkins, Indiana, where it all started.
At the end of Season 4, most of the crew who diverged out of the small town made it back in some capacity, except for Dr. Martin Brenner, who died out in the New Mexico desert at the hands of Colonel Sullivan’s men. And with the Upside Down encroaching on Hawkins in a big way, it sure seems like a major battle is in store.
Will Byers’ character will be a big focus, and hopefully Nancy’s love triangle will resolve
Matt Duffer told Collider, “Will’s going to be a big part and focus, is really all I can say of Season 5, in his journey. We’re starting to see his coming of age, really. Which has been challenging for a number of reasons, some of which are supernatural. But you’re starting to see him come into his own.” Ross Duffer added, “[It’s] setting up us coming full circle back to Season 1. I think you’ll see that with a couple of the character arcs, not just with Will. But also with Steve and Nancy, and her relationship with Jonathan where things are not fully resolved. The characters have maybe made steps, like in the case of Will, but that journey isn’t over yet. All of that is going to play a huge role as we try to wrap this thing up next season.”
“Obviously, it was hinted at in Season 1: It was always kind of there, but you never really knew, is it just him growing up slower than his friends?” Schnapp said. “Now that he’s gotten older, they made it a very real, obvious thing. Now it’s 100% clear that he is gay and he does love Mike.”
A time jump might be involved
According to TVLine, the Duffer Brothers have entertained the idea of infusing the plot with a time jump. This could catch the cast up to their actual ages compared to those of their characters, which became skewed when COVID hit.
“I’m sure we will do a time jump,” says Ross. “Ideally, we’d have shot [Seasons 4 and 5] back to back, but there was just no feasible way to do that.
With the actors already outgrowing their characters’ ages, some have speculated about the use of AI to de-age them when they eventually come back for Season 5, but producer and director Shawn Levy shot down those rumors after they grew from him saying that producers would do whatever they could to make the age gap seem less glaring.
“I kind of was surprised that one sentence I said around this topic traveled so widely. The bottom line is, we know what we’re doing on this show,” Levy told Deadline. Our cast is brilliant. And these characters that the Duffers have created are so vivid. I’m not worried about everyone suiting back up and bringing them to life.”
“The thing that people just need to remember is, we who make the show are fans of the show, too,” he added. “And you better believe we want to stick the landing.”
Eddie Munson is very much dead
Rest in Peace Eddie. He heroically sacrificed himself to demobats in the Upside Down, saving a town that did not understand him in the end. The Duffers confirmed Joseph Quinn’s character’s death (for good) on the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast, unlike Hopper’s Season 4 “death.”
They also hinted on the same pod that Eddie’s death will have “huge repercussions” for the remaining characters in Season 5.
Max has a pulse, so technically she is still alive
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Sink discussed her character’s situation at the end of Season 4, after Vecna ‘consumed’ most of her, but then Eleven somehow brought her back from the edge. Max suffers all four limbs broken as well as loss of her vision when Vecna takes her to open the fourth gate and crack in Hawkins.
“I’m not sure where we’re going and what Max’s state is. It’s definitely all up in the air right now,” Sink says, though she acknowledges Max does have a pulse and isn’t completely gone as she lies recovering in a hospital bed. “I’m just as excited as everyone else to find out where Max is and how she’s doing.”
Eleven can’t find Max when she searches the dark void for her, and the Hawkins doctors say she’s in a coma.
“I knew in advance, but even when I was watching the episode, you fully think she’s dead. You think Max is gone.” Sink told Vulture. She’s definitely not back in the way she once was, but there’s still a small glimmer of hope. But then again, Eleven is searching for her in the void and can’t find her. So who knows where she is and what state she’s in.”
On the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the Duffers said Max is “braindead and blind and all of her bones are broken.”
New faces have joined even this late in the game
“Terminator” actress Linda Hamilton has been cast for an undisclosed role in the fifth season of “Stranger Things.”
“Prey” director Dan Trachtenberg has also been recruited to the Upside Down as well for the fifth season.
Season 5 will be shorter than Season 4, but packed with more action than buildup
Matt Duffer revealed that Season 5 will not match Season 4’s length, mostly due to the story structure shift and the idea that Season 4 paved the way for Season 5 to hit the ground running.
“We thought Season 4 was going to be eight [episodes], and they were going to be regular length. So if you had interviewed us before four, that’s what I would’ve said.” he told Collider. “I think we’re aiming for eight again. We don’t want it to be 13 hours. We’re aiming for more like 10 hours or something. I think it’s going to be longer than Season 1 because we just have so much to wrap up, but I don’t think it’s going to be as long as Season 4.”
In the same interview, Ross explained that the buildup they accomplished in Season 4 will also shorten the final season.
“It was two hours before our characters even realized the monster was killing people in Hawkins [in Season 4],” he said. “They know what the threat is now, and so that will help speed it up.”
The “Stranger Things” series finale is sure to be emotional
In a Q&A with Variety, the Duffers described their experience pitching the fifth and final season of the show to Netflix.
“During the six-month pandemic hiatus, we outlined Season 5 and pitched it to Netflix. Everyone there had also been present when we first pitched the show in 2015. While we were strangers then, we were now friends and there were a lot of tears when it was over.”
Season 5 will likely drop all at once on Netflix
According to Variety, Netflix’s head of scripted series for the U.S. and Canada Peter Friedlander suggested that Season 5 would not get split up, at least not into weekly episodes.
“We fundamentally believe that we want to give our members the choice in how they view,” the Netflix exec said. “And so giving them that option on these scripted series to watch as much as they want to watch when they watch it, is still fundamental to what we want to provide. And so when you see something like a batched season with ‘Stranger Things,’ this is our attempt at making sure we can get shows out quicker to the members.”
The post Everything We Know About ‘Stranger Things’ Season 5 So Far appeared first on TheWrap.