Despite us still being a significant amount of time away from Stranger Things season four hitting Netflix, that doesn’t stop fans across the globe speculating day and night as to what might happen next in the sci-fi story set in Hawkins, Indiana (and now Russia, it seems).
We’ve collated many of the biggest questions (and attempted to answer them), like, when will there be a new season of Stranger Things, who will likely be in the cast… and most importantly, what might happen next to the main characters?
Here’s your need to know guide to Stranger Things season 4… [Beware season 1-3 spoilers lie ahead]
Release date: Late 2020 or early 2021
Where to watch Stranger Things: Netflix
Will there be a Stranger Things season 4 on Netflix?
Yes! Netflix announced in September 2019 that the show has been renewed for a fourth season. Check out the announcement video below, which features the tease: “we’re not in Hawkins anymore”. Where will season four take the gang?
Later, it was announced on Valentine’s Day 2020 that production on season 4 was officially underway.
“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. From Russia with love” wrote the Duffer Brothers, also posting a teaser trailer (below) which confirms the fan theory that David Harbour’s Chief Hopper had survived his apparent death in season three.
However, Netflix confirmed it was cancelling filming in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020. The delay in filming is expected to last at least two weeks, and it’s unclear at this stage how it will affect Stranger Things season four’s release date.
Executive producer and director Shawn Levy described the moment he broke the news of the hiatus to the cast and crew as “bittersweet”, according to Variety.
“The truth is we’re definitely going four seasons and there’s very much the possibility of a fifth,” Levy said. “Beyond that, it becomes I think very unlikely.”
With Stranger Things being one of the hottest properties that Netflix has in its Originals arsenal and the streaming wars starting to hot up with the entrance of Apple TV, Disney+, HBO Max and NBC into the on demand market, it feels like they would be looking for reasons to hang onto the show for as long as possible – and keep hold of the army of fans that comes with it.
Speaking on Lorraine in February 2020, star Noah Schnapp (aka Will Byers) said that he was “sure” there would be another series after the fourth.
“I don’t know if I can say, but from what I think… because they haven’t really told me anything,” he said. “I don’t know what I can’t say either. I’m sure there will be another one after that. I can’t imagine this is the last… I feel like we’d know if this was. I don’t want it to end!”
When is Stranger Things season 4 released on Netflix?
This may be a tough pill to swallow, but going by the pattern from seasons 1, 2 and 3, it could be late 2020, or early 2021 before we see Stranger Things season 4 released on Netflix in the UK and across the globe. And that was before the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on the film industry.
So it’s likely to be a long wait until we find out what’s going to happen next in the sci-fi show.
In the finale of Stranger Things 3, there was a reference to the Byers and the Wheelers spending Christmas together, and the previous two seasons have revolved around holidays (Halloween and Independence Day in the USA), so perhaps December 2020 is our best hope if that is the direction they take.
Is Hopper alive? Who is “The American”?
At the end of season 3, David Harbour’s Chief Hopper was apparently killed after Joyce destroyed the key to the Upside Down, but the post titles scene referencing “The American” in a Russian jail kept hope alive for fans.
On 14th February 2020 and after much speculation, Netflix released a trailer for season 4 of Stranger Things that confirmed Chief Hopper was alive, and in a prison camp in Russia.
Netflix revealed: “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….”
How long he’s been there and what’s been going on is yet to be revealed. But for now the mystery of whether Hopper is dead or alive appears to have been solved.
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Stranger Things season 4 cast
There were a few casualties in the last episode of season 3. Billy (Dacre Montgomery) is certainly dead (or as certain we can be that anyone is dead in Stranger Things), and is unlikely to return for a fourth run, unless as part of a cameo, a la Sean Astin’s Bob – or if they do a flashback of some sort?
We should expect to see most of the main cast back for season 4, including Millie Bobby Brown’s Eleven, Finn Wolfhard’s Mike, Winona Ryder’s Joyce, Noah Schnapp’s Will, Caleb Mclaughlin’s Lucas, Gaten Matarazzo’s Dustin, Natalia Dyer’s Nancy, Charlie Heaton’s Jonathan, Maya Hawke’s Robin and Joe Keery (Steve).
Variety also reported that Priah Ferguson, who plays Lucas’s sister Erica (of “you can’t spell America without Erica” fame), has been promoted to series regular for season 4.
And in March 2020, it was confirmed that Fleabag star Brett Gelman had also been upped to series regular. The actor plays eccentric private investigator Murray Bauman, who helped get justice for Barb in series two and acted as a Russian translator in series three (RIP Alexei).
There has been no official casting news yet, but we can safely assume there will probably be new cast members and guests announced in due course for season 4 – including a notable Game of Thrones star who cropped up in the teaser trailer at the 0.28 second mark…
Tom Wlaschiha, who played ‘Faceless Man’ Jaqen H’ghar in HBO’s series Game of Thrones, appears set to play a mysterious Russian soldier.
From what Chief Hopper is doing now, to how exactly the Russians detained a Demogorgon, Stranger Things 3 left a lot of questions unanswered. Eleven questions, to be exact, which we go into more detail here.
But as well as tying up loose ends, a fourth run could open up new possibilities for the show: for instance, to accommodate the show’s quickly-ageing young cast, could Stranger Things 4 be set several years after season three?
In February 2020, TVLine‘s Michael Ausiello reported that season 4 could consist of 9 episodes, one more than initially planned. He also said that a “fan-favourite character may have his/her origin story told in one (or more) of those nine episodes.”
There’s no news as to who that could be, but there are plenty of possibilities. We don’t know much about newcomer Robin’s background, so she could be a good bet. Or perhaps we’ll find out how former journalist turned private investigator Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman) became the bunker-living, vodka-drinking and Russian-speaking sleuth he is today. This seems especially likely now that Gelman has been upped to series regular.
There’s also the strong likelihood that the story will move beyond one town, with co-showrunner Matt Duffer recently telling EW that the fourth season could see plotlines moving “into areas outside of Hawkins”. According to Deadline, Netflix has moved filming from Atlanta to New Mexico, which suggests a change of setting might be on the cards.
Ross Duffer added about a fourth run: “It’s going to feel very different than this season.
“But I think that’s the right thing to do and I think it’ll be exciting.”
So we could see more of Russia perhaps in season four, and the kids of Hawkins on the road in other areas of America and the world. And of course, as time goes by, they will get older, so the writers will need to explain what’s happened in the intervening years before throwing us all back into what is sure to be another mystery of epic proportions.
Is there a Stranger Things season 4 trailer?
Other than the Valentine’s Day teaser, a full-length trailer is yet to land. However, Netflix did release a table read video with footage of the cast.
It doesn’t give anything away plot-wise, but it’s nice to see the cast having fun while the rest of us eagerly await news from the upside down.
Stranger Things season 4 has been delayed, but seasons 1-3 is now available on Netflix.