Stranger Things is three seasons in, and a fourth is on the way, having been officially confirmed by Netflix. Here's everything we know about Stranger Things 4 so far, including the possible release date and plot rumours.
Series creators the Duffer brothers had previously suggested that the show would only run for four seasons before coming to a close, though since then we've heard that it may run a little longer than that. 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?
We don't have any release date for the fourth season yet, so there's no firm answer. So far there's been a gap of roughly a year and a half between each season. Prior to the pandemic, this would have indicated a late 2020 kick-off date. However, the delays in filming will likely push the release date back even further.
Sadly, this means it's probably not going to release this year. According to star Finn Wolfhard, season 4 should release sometime in 2022 (via Games Radar). We still don't know when, but we're keeping our fingers crossed for early in the year.
the first episode title of Stranger Things 4 is... ? pic.twitter.com/jUgMKFalhd— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) 7 November 2019
What we do know is the title of the first episode of the season, which will be 'Chapter One: The Hellfire Club'. That name is most known from the eighties X-Men comics - a group of villains from The Dark Phoenix saga. This is most likely just a pop culture nod (something this show is infamous for), but who knows? There could be some more hidden clues in this title.
Watch the trailers
We now have 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.
Eleven, are you listening? pic.twitter.com/sluiUvrSZN— Netflix Geeked (@NetflixGeeked) May 6, 2021
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'.
Who will be in the cast?
So far, we've heard 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 main character Lucas. Season 3 saw her be featured much more heavily, so this move is unsurprising.
Stranger Things TV also dropped a list of alleged new cast members, including quite a few who will have ties to Russia, the leader of the Hellfire Club (referenced in the pilot episode) and a new best friend for Jonathan. You can see these below:
The third season introduced a number of new characters to the show, such as Cary Elwes' mayor, and we'd hope to see some of them stick around for next time, likely along with a few new additions. Joel Stoffer has also been cast in an unnamed role for the series.
Season 4 rumours
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 - they mentioned coming back for Thanksgiving, which could be a very neat excuse to set the next season during the season.
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 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.
We don't know how many more seasons there will be, but considering that originally season 4 was supposed to be the last, we imagine that it can only go on for another few years. But alas - never say never.