Netflix has some good news and bad news for “Stranger Things” fans. The good news is the show has been renewed for Season 5 before Season 4 has even aired. The bad news is that the show’s fifth season will be its last.
“Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for ‘Stranger Things,’” creators Matt and Ross Duffer said in a letter released to fans on Thursday. “At the time, we predicted the story would last four to five seasons. It proved too large to tell in four, but – as you’ll see for yourselves – we are are now hurtling toward our finale. Season 4 will be the penultimate season; Season 5 will be the last.”
However, while the showrunners announced that the end is nigh, they also teased that Season 5 likely won’t be the last “Stranger Things” story fans see, hinting at future spinoffs. “There are still many more exciting stories to tell within the world of ‘Stranger Things’; new mysteries, new adventures, new unexpected heroes,” the Duffer Brothers added. “But first, we hope that you stay with us as we finish this tale of a powerful girl named Eleven and her brave friends, of a broken police chief and a ferocious mom, of a small town called Hawkins and an alternate dimension known only as the Upside Down. As always, we are grateful for your patience and support.”
The original sci-fi series was a breakout hit when it premiered on Netflix in 2016, spurring the streaming service to quickly order a second season of the show. Each subsequent season has only grown in popularity, as the show follows a group of kids (and their parents, to a lesser degree) in a small town in the 1980s where supernatural goings-on are occurring.
The show is the brainchild of creators The Duffer Brothers, who write and direct much of the series themselves. They’ve said all along that they wanted to see the show through to the end rather than hand it off to another showrunner, so to that end they’re keeping their word. And when those inevitable spinoffs arrive, they’ll likely step back to allow others to tackle the day-to-day showrunning duties.
The production of “Stranger Things” Season 4 was extended due to COVID and as a result, the premiere date has been significantly delayed. Filming began in 2020, but was not completed until August of 2021. The series is set to return to Netflix this year with nine all new episodes, with the Duffer Brothers also announcing on Thursday that Season 4 is being split in half — the first batch of episodes arrive May 27 and the second batch premiere on July 1.
Plot details for “Stranger Things” Season 4 are sparse, but the show has already confirmed the return of David Harbour’s Hopper who was presumed dead at the end of Season 3. This new season finds the character in a Russian prison, possibly sharing a cell with another demogorgan. Season 4 also travels to other new locales outside Indiana, including California.
The logline Netflix released for Season 4 reads: “It’s been six months since the Battle of Starcourt, which brought terror and destruction to Hawkins. Struggling with the aftermath, our group of friends are separated for the first time – and navigating the complexities of high school hasn’t made things any easier. In this most vulnerable time, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down.”
“Stranger Things” also stars Winona Ryder, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Noah Schnapp, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Sadie Sink, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Cara Buono, Joe Keery and Matthew Modine.