‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 Is ‘Harrowing, Epic’ and ‘Cinematic,’ Shawn Levy Says

The EP also tells TheWrap when the decision was made to end the show after Season 5


“Stranger Things” executive producer Shawn Levy is well aware that fans have been waiting a long time for Season 4, but he contends that once they see what’s behind the curtain, they’ll understand and feel it’s been worth the wait.

“This is so much more story and runtime than ever before, not by a little. By a lot,” Levy told TheWrap during a Zoom interview in March about his Netflix film “The Adam Project.” The filmmaker has not only been a key producer involved in “Stranger Things” from the very beginning, but a key director for each season, helming two episodes during each of the first three seasons.

He returns to the director’s chair again for “Stranger Things 4,” and when asked to describe the new season in three words, Levy said: “Harrowing. Epic. Cinematic.”

Ahead of the Season 4 launch, creators The Duffer Brothers announced that the series will conclude with Season 5. We asked Levy how long ago they decided to end the show after five seasons, and it’s a decision that wasn’t made in haste.

“A while ago,” Levy responded. “I don’t remember the exact time because like for all of us the last two years have a weird lack of time markers. But we’ve known for awhile. It feels like the organic lifespan of this particular story with these particular characters, and we want to stick the landing and we don’t want to overstay our welcome. So we have a clear vision and plan, always led with clarity of voice and vision by the Duffer Brothers.”

Levy went on to acknowledge the nearly three-year wait for Season 4, which is being presented in two parts released in May and July.

“All I can say is, we agree, it sucks that audiences waited this long for Season 4,” Levy said. “It’s why we’re gonna deliver some of the episodes as soon as possible rather than make them wait until all of them are ready. Though it will sound like lip service, when you see the scale of Season 4 both in terms of runtime and cinematic scope, I’m confident people will feel the wait was worth it.”

Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven and Noah Schnapp as Will Byers in "Stranger Things" (Netflix)

Levy shied away from revealing just how long Part 1 will be, but did contend that “the overall scope, density [and] runtime of this season is in a league of its own” compared to past seasons. Which is saying a lot considering that Season 3 concluded with a giant monster battle inside the Hawkins mall.

As for planning for the endgame, Levy says the Duffer Brothers “have had a sense of how they wanted to wrap this up for awhile, and that informs Season 4.” While he noted that everyone is focused on finishing post-production on Season 4, a plan is in place for the final season.

“We are buried in the work of Season 4 but there is a plan,” Levy said when asked when Season 5 might start filming. “We’re not by the seat of our pants in any way. I don’t want to say more.”

“Stranger Things” Season 4 Volume One premieres on Netflix May 27 followed by Volume Two on July 1.