Stranger Things will be returning for a fourth season next month after massive delays due to the coronavirus. Here's everything we know about season 4, including the release date, cast and plot rumours.

If you want to know what else is on Netflix, we've done a roundup of the best upcoming shows and movies on the platform this month

When will Netflix release season 4 of Stranger Things?

Stranger Things season 4 is back this week, but the season will be split into two parts.

The first seven episodes will land on 27 May 2022, and then the last two (episodes eight and nine) will arrive on 1 July 2022.

Every episode will be over an hour long, with the final instalment sitting at a whopping two-and-a-half hours. Here are the full runtimes for every episode:

Watch the trailers

The full official trailer gives us a teaser of what Hopper has been up to in Russia and a look at the big bad of the Upside Down, Vecna. There are suspicious that this creature could be Billy:

The Welcome to California reveals Eleven's new life on the West Coast, which seems to go completely off the rails in true Stranger Things fashion. Take a look below:

You can watch the opening eight minutes of the new season now on YouTube:

Whilst it's not a trailer, the first stills from the show give us a look at some old and new cast members - and the iconic hairstyles for this season:

This trailer may be short, but gives us a better idea of what to expect from season 4:

Netflix's Tudum event showed off a teaser video called Creel House, and includes a brand new character called Victor Creel who seems like bad news:

There's a short trailer called 'Eleven, are you listening?'. This takes place back in the laboratory, and other children are in there as well. We can only assume that this must be a flashback, unless somehow Eleven gets captured again. 

The Stranger Things YouTube channel dropped a teaser trailer, with bloody shots of the Hawkins National Laboratory.

There's also this announcement teaser:

In February 2020, director Shawn Levy posted the following sneak peek trailer with the tag 'From Russia with love'. 

Stranger Things season 4 episode titles 

We now know all the titles of the episodes in season 4, and there are some cryptic clues here. Here are all the names:

  • Episode 1 - The Hellfire Club
  • Episode 2 - Vecna’s Curse
  • Episode 3 - The Monster and the Superhero
  • Episode 4 - Dear Billy
  • Episode 5 - The Nina Project
  • Episode 6 - The Dive
  • Episode 7 - The Massacre at Hawkins Lab
  • Episode 8 - Papa
  • Episode 9 - The Piggyback

Some of the most interesting titles in there include Dear Billy, which could indicate a return of Dacre Montgomery's character, and episode 7, which is a clear nod to the trailers which showed off the bloody marks and stains within Hawkins Lab. 

Who will be in the cast?

We know that Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Will (Noah Schnapp), Max (Sadie Sink), Steve (Joe Keery), Nancy (Natalia Dyer), Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), Robin (Maya Hawke), Hoppe (David Harbour) and Joyce (Winona Ryder) will all be returning. 

Variety has reported that Priah Ferguson has been promoted to a series regular on the show. Ferguson stars as Erica Sinclair, the hilarious younger sister of the main character Lucas. She featured in season 3 quite heavily, so this move is unsurprising. 

At Netflix's Geeked Week, the Duffer brothers unveiled some new cast members:

These include Amybeth McNulty as Vickie, a band nerd who is a love interest for one of the Hawkins members, Myles Truitt as Patrick, a basketball star whose life spirals out of control, Regina Ting Chen as Ms. Kelly, a guidance counsellor, and Grace Van Dien as Chrissy, a Hawkins High School cheerleader with a dark secret. 

The third season introduced a number of new characters to the show, such as Cary Elwes' mayor. We hope to see some of them stick around. Joel Stoffer has also been cast in an unnamed role for the series. 

Victor Creel will be portrayed by Robert Englund. According to Fandom, Creel is imprisoned at Pennhurst Mental Hospital for a gruesome murder. 

What will happen in Stranger Things season 4?

Here's what we think/hope we might see - naturally with spoilers for the third season.

Season three ended with the gang successfully closing the gate and destroying the Russian machine - with Jim Hopper seemingly dying in the process.

The post-credit scene (you did watch that, right?) reveals that things aren't so simple: the Russians are still operating in, y'know, Russia, and have an American prisoner (the trailer confirms that this is Hopper) and have presumably gotten the machine there working since they also have a pet Demogorgon.

What's not clear is if they'll still require some sort of link to Hawkins to keep their contact with the Upside Down alive. And if not, will the Hawkins gang end up on a road trip to Kamchatka, or will there be some other way to link the two plot threads together?

Actor David Harbour revealed at Liverpool Comic-Con that we're going to learn a lot more about Hopper's backstory, which will be a "huge reveal". 

The teaser trailers have been focusing on the Hawkins Laboratory. Our best guess is that there will be some flashbacks to Eleven's time there, and the other children involved. However, it is Stranger Things - so we wouldn't be surprised for the worst to happen and for El to end up back in the horrific facility. 

The Duffers have already said that a fourth season could "open up a little bit... in terms of allowing plotlines into areas outside of Hawkins," and the teaser trailer hinted that 'We're not in Hawkins anymore,' so it looks pretty clear that the show is about to branch outside of its defining township. If the trailer is anything to go by, Russia is the next location we'll be exploring. 

Then there's Eleven: she seems to have lost her powers, but we would bet almost any money that before the end of season four she'll get them back. Odds are that will also involve a return to Hawkins with the Byers family. The latest trailer revealed that she's planning to reunite with Will and the gang for Spring Break - but it looks like there will be trouble in California before she can make it there.

We don't know how Victor Creel will play into all this, but he will be a reoccurring character. Somehow the Creel House is tied to the Upside Down - perhaps Victor is a man possessed by some of the creatures within the world?

Whatever happens, the show's creators have explained that we'll finally learn more about the mythology behind the monsters in the series for the first time, and explore exactly what the Upside Down is. We will also meet Vecna, and find out what his role is within the Upside Down. 

Will Stranger Things season 4 be the last?

Thankfully, no. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the Duffer brothers confirmed that season 4 will not be the last and that the break from filming has given them the opportunity to flesh out the plot. Ross Duffer stated, "[the pandemic] has given us time to look ahead, figure out what is best for the show. Starting to fill that out gave us a better idea of how long we need to tell that story.

Netflix has now confirmed that season 5 will be the final season, but there could be a big spin-off on the way in the future. 

Whilst you wait for season 4, Netflix also has a scripted fiction podcast called Surviving Hawkins, focusing on the character Robin. You can listen to the first episode below: