Stranger Things 4 Volume 2 left us with quite a cliffhanger, so it makes sense that people are ready beyond ready for more. This long-running saga of a superpowered girl, her nerdy friends, and a small town with a dark dimension beneath is wrapping up its story for good, making people extra excited. Stranger Things 5 will be the last season, a plan that the Duffer Brothers have had since the beginning. So naturally, they have been dropping information here and there for a while. Here’s what we know so far about Stranger Things 5.
A Mysterious Name on Stranger Things 5‘s Cast/Character List
Ross Duffer took to Instagram to tease fans about the characters who may appear in the upcoming season. It’s all the usual suspects, but there’s one name overtly blocked out. Who that name is, of course, has set fans buzzing. Of course, many hope it says “Eddie Munson” under that sharpie, but mostly likely it’s the name of a new character being hidden from us. Linda Hamilton is joining the cast after all.
Still, we’ll hold onto hope while we can.
Production to Begin in January 2024
Production on Stranger Things 5 was paused when Hollywood’s studios refused to fairly compensate and support their creatives. But now, with the strikes finally resolved, production is moving forward, and hopefully, that will yield a wealth of new information and teases for eager fans.
Although the exact date of Stranger Things 5 production start is still in flux, it appears it will be in early January 2024, somewhere around the 5th or 8th of the month, per Deadline.
Stranger Things 5 Chapter One, Scene One
In celebration of Stranger Things Day 2023, the Stranger Things writers’ room released a tease of the very first scene of Stranger Things 5. It shares, “Darkness. The sound of cold wind. Groaning trees. And… A child’s voice. Singing a familiar song:”
Could that song be Dustin and Suzie sharing a tune? Or perhaps Will and Jonathan Byers are rocking out to, “Should I Stay or Should I Go.” Perhaps someone is singing “Running Up That Hill” to Max. Hopefully, whoever is singing, it’s not in a bid to keep Vecna away.
Stranger Things 5 Releases Pre-Vis First-Looks at Episode One
Who would have thought we’d have our first-look at Stranger Things 5 so early. At least, a technical first-look. In support of the SAG-AFTRA strike, the Stranger Things 5 writers, who were recently allowed to return to work, posted a very interesting-looking Steve Harrington.
FYI this is pre-vis for a scene in ep 1. So technically your first look at season 5. We told Joe he has to perform it EXACTLY like this.— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) September 28, 2023
They followed up the slightly freaky image by noting, “FYI, this is pre-vis for a scene in ep 1. So technically your first look at season 5. We told Joe he has to perform it EXACTLY like this.” This Stranger Things 5 “first look” doesn’t actually reveal anything… But we are glad to see Steve, regardless.
They did Charlie dirty pic.twitter.com/NOWxnTou4l— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) September 29, 2023
The writers also shared a continuation of the moment and revealed that Jonathan is also present in it. It looks like they might be working on a car or something of the sort together. We honestly wouldn’t mind seeing a little bit more of their tenuous friendship.
Lastly, Stranger Things‘ writers have revealed pre-viz for a scene in Stranger Things 5 that features Nancy, Jonathan, and Dustin. They’re screaming a lot in a car… and also appear to possibly be heading into the Upside Down by way of Stranger Things 2 location McCorkle’s farm. Very interesting.
Stranger Things 5 Will Be a Return to Season One and More
The Duffer Brothers teased the tone we can expect from Stranger Things 5. They shared:
Five, the way we see it, is kind of a culmination of all the seasons, so it’s sort of got a little bit from each… Whereas before, each season was so [distinct]… [Season] 3 is our big summer blockbuster season with big monsters, and [Season] 4 was the psychological horror. Five, the way we see it, is kind of a culmination of all the seasons, so it’s sort of got a little bit from each. I think that what we’re trying to do is go back to the beginning a little bit, in sort of the tone of 1.
While having an Eleven-centric final season is a no-brainer, The Duffer Brothers affirm via a Variety interview that Will Byers is going to once again become a big focus in Stranger Things‘ final season. There’s no outright onscreen confirmation that Will is indeed gay (we do get lots of heavy hinting); however, actor Noah Schnapp did reveal his truth via TikTok as well as previously stating that his character is gay. In an interview with Variety, Schnapp affirms his own journey would inform how he portrays Will in the final season.
“I think the way I act in season five, honestly, might be a little different,” Schnapp says. “I will be fully aware of who I am. Knowing all of that about myself and being able to invest that in my character, I’m honestly just excited.”
Ross Duffer further adds, “Will really takes center stage again in [season five]. This emotional arc for him is what we feel is going to hopefully tie the whole series together. Will is used to being the young one, the introverted one, the one that’s being protected. So part of his journey, it’s not just sexuality—it’s Will coming into his own as a young man.”
In terms of scale, the episodes are still as epic as Stranger Things 4‘s were. In fact, Stranger Things’ writers had quite a visceral way of describing the upcoming season. Take a look.
Additionally, the script for Stranger Things 5 made Netflix executives cry, according to the creators… And David Harbour refers to it as “very, very moving.” So strap in folks.
Will There Be a Time Jump Between Stranger Things 4 and Stranger Things 5?
If you’re wondering whether we’ll see a major time jump between Stranger Things 4 and Stranger Things 5, it sounds like the answer is no, but the door does remain open.
In an interview recorded before the SAG-AFTRA strike began, David Harbour chatted to the Happy Sad Confused podcast about when Stranger Things 5 will pick up the story. He offered, “…when you watch us on that hill looking at the ash and the smoke and fires—we’re going to start somewhere after that. So you’ve got to imagine the world is a different place.” Of course, somewhere after that could mean more than a little time, but it does feel like the ash is still hanging in the air when the cameras begin to roll.
The Title of Stranger Things 5‘s First Episode
To celebrate Stranger Things Day 2022, Netflix gave us a tease of what we might expect in the final season of the show. Well, a tiny tease, anyway. Netflix released the title of Stranger Thing 5‘s first episode. The episode’s title? “Chapter One: The Crawl.”
Hrm… The doesn’t really clear much up. But for our money, that better mean Eddie Munson’s crawl back to life from his death in the Upside Down. Listen, it could happen. We guess we’ll just have to hang on for now. But we feel sure thousands of theories about this Stranger Things 5 title are already brewing.
Stranger Things 5 Will Be Shorter Than Stranger Things 4
Stranger Things 5 will be shorter than this very, very long season. According to an interview on Josh Horowitz’s Happy Sad Confused podcast, the reason for this is pretty simple. “The only reason we don’t expect [Season 5] to be as long is because, this season, if you look at it, it’s almost a two-hour ramp-up before our kids really get drawn into the supernatural mystery,” Matt Duffer said. “You get to know them, you get to see them in their lives, all while they’re struggling with adapting to high school and so forth … Steve’s trying to find a date. All of that.”
For now, it looks like the Duffer brothers and other Stranger Things writers are teasing us with an eight-episode Stranger Things 5.
Based on the end of Stranger Things 4, this all makes sense. There’s plenty going on with them immediately in Stranger Things 5, to be honest. And this doesn’t mean we’ll get a shorter finale. The runtime for the very last episode will be movie length and have a Return of the King type of deal with eight endings. Goodness.
Stranger Things 5 Will Only Be Set in Hawkins
Stranger Things 4 felt like that song about the dude who’s been everywhere, man. There were so many locations in several states (and even Russia). But the final season will stick to the place where we began this adventure: Hawkins, Indiana. According to Matt Duffer, returning to home base is what it’s all about. “We wanna go back to a lot of the things we did in season one,” Duffer told Entertainment Weekly. “A lot of the original groupings and pairings that we had in season one–there’s something nice about coming full circle.”
This is interesting considering the new faces we’ve added on like Robin and Erica. Where will they fit into these groups in Stranger Things 5? We know the first season was heavy on Mike, Dustin, and Lucas being together while Will was missing. Uh, oh. Does this mean Will will separate from his buddies again?
One thing we got confirmed: the Duffer Brothers know how Stranger Things will end. And we can only speculate what they have up their sleeves.
The Work Is Currently on Hold for Stranger Things 5
In a Collider interview, Ross Duffer confirmed that the writers’ room will be back to work in August 2022. However, things came to a grinding halt in May 2023 with the writers’ strike. The Stranger Things writers room made a post on Twitter affirming that production would stop until a fair deal was reached.
This likely means we won’t get Stranger Things 5 until 2025. And that’s okay. The most important issue is to make sure that actors and writers are being treated fairly.
The Stranger Things Spinoff Will Connect to the Series
That elusive Stranger Things spinoff that only the Duffer Brothers and apparently Finn Wolfhard know about will have “connective tissue” with the series. They will be involved in putting it together but they also want to put the reins in someone else’s hands so they can take a step back. In the aforementioned podcast interview, they admit to wanting to stay involved. But they also say they are looking for “that right person to pass the baton to” so they can do new things. Makes sense considering they have been in Stranger Things land for several years.
Max Is in a Really, Really Bad Situation
The Duffers also confirm some really sad news about Max and her fate on Stranger Things. Apparently, she is alive but “brain dead, blind, and all her bones are broken.” So, at least for now, Max is certainly not the same person she was before. It’s not clear how this will play into Stranger Things season five but hopefully, she won’t end up being some vessel for Vecna or anything. We can’t bear to see anything else happen to Max. Save her, please!
Originally published on July 5, 2022.