When is Stranger Things season 4 released on Netflix? What’s going to happen?

Will season four be Stranger Things' last? Which hints are the cast and crew dropping? Here's everything we know about the upcoming series.

Stranger Things

Stranger Things’ season three has spent almost a year on Netflix, with fans now desperately wanting to know what happened to Hopper, whether the Byers have moved out of Hawkins for good and what is going on in that Russian lab.

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The coronavirus pandemic may have interrupted filming for season four, but that hasn’t stopped various cast and crew members from dropping hints about the upcoming series.

Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming season, any clues given by the show’s writers on Twitter and what the cast have been saying about the fourth series…

*Warning: spoilers ahead for Stranger Things series 1-3*

Will there be a Stranger Things season 4 on Netflix?

Netflix announced on Valentine’s day 2020 that production was underway on season four (with a video that confirmed the survival of a certain key character), however in March 2020, the streaming platform confirmed that filming on the series was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In late May, stunt boss Hira Koda told ComicBook.com that the Stranger Things team had managed to film two episodes of season four before the coronavirus pandemic shut down production – so a series four will land on our screens eventually, but there’s no clue as to when.

When is Stranger Things season 4 released on Netflix?

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe delays for many popular shows, and Stranger Things is no exception.

Back in March, David Harbour (Hopper) said during an Instagram Q&A that season four was “supposed to come out early next year”, however the release date will “probably be pushed back” in wake of the virus.

In late May, Stranger Things’ stunt boss Hiro Koda suggested that a premiere date for season four could be pushed back even further due to social distancing measures that may be put in place.

“There’s been lots of discussions and it’s going to be really interesting because the president [Donald Trump] has given us these guidelines for the states to open up in phases,” he told ComicBook.com.

“Some of the phases allow companies to open up and be like 25% employees, and then it goes to 40 per cent or whatever, and then it kind of increases from there,” he added. “But with us, as a film production, we have to be 100 per cent.”

He added that everyone on set will need to wear masks and gloves, but the actors can’t for certain scenes. “All stunts that we do, we’re physically touching each other because we’re fighting, and we’re dealing with the cast and putting them in harnesses and wires and flying them.”

With social distancing guidelines making it unlikely that all season four scenes can be filmed, it’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing the gang once again any time soon.

Stranger Things

Will season 4 be the final series of Stranger Things?

The show is likely to continue for longer than its originally planned four season-run. Producer Shawn Levy later said that enthusiasm from Netflix and its child stars may well have convinced them to go on for one more season after that, too.

“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!”

What will happen in Stranger Things season 4?

From what Chief Hopper is doing now, to how exactly the Russians detained a Demogorgon, Stranger Things three 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 four be set several years after season three?

In February 2020, TVLine‘s Michael Ausiello reported that season four 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.”

This “fan-favourite” is likely to be Hopper, after David Harbour promised fans at Liverpool Comic Con in March a “big, huge reveal” about his character’s backstory in the upcoming series.

Harbour added that its his “favourite thing” about Hopper that fans are yet to find out about him, but it’s related to the three boxes found by Eleven in Hopper’s attic which are labelled ‘Dad’, ‘Vietnam’ and ‘New York’.

What’s more, apparently the upcoming series is set to be the scariest so far – according to Keery, who plays Steve Harrington. The actor told Total Film, “I think that this year — and I know I say this every single year — but this is definitely going to be a lot scarier than prior years, because last year was pretty dark.”

This was echoed by Stranger Things’ stunt boss Hiro Koda in late May, who told ComicBook.com that season four will be “darker”.

“There’s lots of great surprises and all your favourite people are in it,” he said. “It’s going to be so good. It’s so epic.”

In terms of theories for season four, 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.

Are there any teasers?

In May, the Stranger Things writers posted a series of cryptic tweets in response to fans asking for spoilers.

The Stranger Things Writers’ Room account tweeted an emoji with a hand over its mouth, and another of a blushing face.

The account also tweeted a picture of the gang in the Starcourt Mall during the final episode, with the mysterious caption: “Are the kids alright?”

The writers also updated viewers on what jock-turned-Scoops-Ahoy-employee would be up to now, writing: “Steve is doing his own thing, you know, working with Robin and not drinking enough water because he gets distracted easily and forgets where he put his drink.”

Is Hopper alive? Who is “The American”?

At the end of season three, 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 four 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.

Furthermore, in May 2020 video footage surfaced of Harbour teasing a bit more about what was coming for the character in season four, hinting that his Hopper’s past will be explored in greater depth and that a huge secret will come to light – apparently one for which some clues have already been laid out.

In the footage, which originated from Liverpool Comic-Con in early March, Harbour said, “There are these three things that we’ve established in the season that if we don’t pay off, it means that they’re bad writers. And the Duffer brothers are very good writers.

“I know specifically that in season four we will give you a big, huge reveal about Hopper’s backstory.”

He added: “I’m so excited about revealing this aspect of the character. It’s one of the things that I’ve known since the first frame of the first shot, and we haven’t expressed it yet. And finally, we’re gonna express it in a big way.

“It’s my favourite thing about him that you guys don’t know about him yet, but it has to do with these backstories of New York, Vietnam, and Dad. And I’m really excited for you guys to know more about that, and it relates, of course, to things he’s doing with Eleven and Joyce and things like that.”

Well, as if we weren’t excited enough for season four already…

Stranger Things season 4 cast

There were a few casualties in the last episode of season three. 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, à la Sean Astin’s Bob – or if they do a flashback of some sort?

Stranger Things

We should expect to see most of the main cast back for season four, 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’s 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 four.

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 four – including a notable Game of Thrones star who cropped up in the teaser trailer at the 0.28 second mark…

Tom Wlaschiha, screenshot (Stranger Things)

Tom Wlaschiha, who played ‘Faceless Man’ Jaqen H’ghar in HBO’s series Game of Thrones, appears set to play a mysterious Russian soldier.

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.

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Stranger Things season 4 has been delayed, but seasons 1-3 is now available on Netflix. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV guide.