“Stranger Things” Season 4 is the longest season of the hit Netflix series yet. But we didn’t know how long … until now.
It had already been revealed that this season would consist of nine episodes instead of the usual eight and that the season would be split up into two “volumes” – the first volume coming out on May 27 and the second volume out on July 1. It was also known that the episodes would be considerably longer than previous seasons; instead of the usual 45-minute to an hour runtime, these episodes would run more than an hour each.
When TheWrap chatted with the Duffer Brothers, the creators of the show who also directed five episodes this season (!), we asked if they knew that “Stranger Things 4” would be this gargantuan.
“No,” Matt Duffer said, explaining that their line producer came to them and said that it would be double what Season 3 was in terms of scope and scale. “I just said ‘No, I don’t think so.’”
“A lot of it had to do with the fact that we had characters spread out in three locations and we had a lot more plot. It must be quadruple the plot we had in Season 3,” Matt Duffer continued. “That was our fun blockbuster season. This season we knew that Season 5 was going to be our last, we had to start revealing a lot.”
“Stranger Things 4” does indeed take place over a handful of locations, with the story following Will (Noah Schnapp), Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) as they adjust to their new life in a sunny, “E.T.”-ish California suburb; the rest of the Hawkins gang as they deal with a new, Freddy Kruger-style villain from the Upside Down; and Hopper (David Harbour) in captivity in a Russian prison.
“The more we were writing, the more we realized we need more time in order for these reveals to land, in order for these storylines to work,” Matt Duffer explained. “Partway through we knew we needed to ask Netflix for nine episodes instead of eight and as we started shooting we realized, Oh these are mega-long episodes.”
While we are forbidden from revealing plot details from Season 4, it seems safe to say that these new episodes are basically feature-length. Each time you sit down to watch “Stranger Things,” you’ll actually be getting a little movie.
“Seven and nine in particular are movies,” Matt Duffer said. “And nine is a long movie.”
When we asked how long, Ross Duffer said (impishly, we might add): “We’re still refining it but we will say that it is over two hours. It’s a big one.”
Considering the wait between “Stranger Things” Season 3 and Season 4 was nearly three years, at the very least these super-sized episodes will give fans extra time to savor the new stories before the show returns for its fifth (and final) season.