There’s only one season left for Netflix’s Stranger Things, but the Upside Down has some secrets left in store for the kids of Hawkins, Indiana… as do the people responsible for the show in the first place. Series creators, Ross and Matt Duffer, along with executive producer Shawn Levy and a number of the show’s cast, were speaking at a live event in Hollywood on Sunday evening when they offered a glimpse or two into what’s coming up in the show’s last season, in addition to going back to the show’s origins.
“I remember season one we were just amazed that Netflix was letting us do this at all, but season two was when we really, with the writers, we developed an overall plan and a backstory for all of this and make sure that, with the Upside Down, everything about what it was,” Ross Duffer told the audience.
The significant portion of that backstory was revealed in the show’s fourth season, he continued, “but we do have quite a bit more to get in. But just as important as the supernatural, we have so many characters now — most who are still living — and it’s important to wrap up those arcs. A lot of these characters have been growing since season one so it’s a balancing act between giving them time to complete their character arcs and also tying up loose ends and doing our final reveals.”
The fifth season of the show is “a culmination of all of the seasons, so it’s sort of got a little bit from each, whereas before each season was so distinctly — three, this is our big summer blockbuster season with our big monster; four was the psychological horror… I think that what we’re trying to do is go back to the beginning a little bit in the tone of [season] one, but scale-wise it’s more in line with what [season] four is.”
Matt Duffer explained that the brothers have pitched the entire season to Netflix executives at a two hour meeting, provoking exactly the right emotional response. “We did get our executives to cry, which I felt was a good sign that these executives were crying,” he said. “The only other times I’ve seen them cry were like budget meetings.”
Producer Shawn Levy revealed that he was in that pitch meeting, adding, “Having read this first script — I’m paralyzed with fear that I’ll spoil anything but I will say the thing about these Duffer Brothers is that even though the show has gotten so famous and the characters have gotten so iconic and there’s so much about the ’80s and the supernatural and the genre, it’s about these people, it’s about these characters.”
Netflix revealed last week that the first episode of the new season will be titled 'The Crawl,' although all further details remain under wraps for now.
Writing for the fifth season began in earnest in August; no release date for Stranger Things’ fifth and final season has been announced as yet.
Accompanying the fourth season of the show, Jim McDermott wrote about his own experience of being a gay kid in the 1980s.