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What could make Netflix's Stranger Things even better? More of the cast dying, says Dustin actor Gaten Matarazzo

Gaten Matarazzo has an unusual pitch to make Stranger Things better – kill more children.

Stranger Things
Image credit: Courtesy Netflix

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Stranger Things is one of the most popular shows on Netflix, but one of the cast members thinks there is something that could make it even better. During a Stranger Things panel at Megacon 2024, a fan asked the cast members what they would change about the show. Gaten Matarazzo, who plays Dustin Henderson, had a chaotic answer.

“This is really messed up, but we should kill more people,” Matarazzo says. “I want it to not feel safe. I want the stakes to be up. I want people to think any of these kids could kick it at any moment. And I’m not kidding, it would be so great. I feel like – just kill a few people. Like before, not now.”

Yes, Matarazzo’s pitch involves firing some of his co-stars (or himself), but in his defense, he thinks it would improve the show’s reputation.

“I think honestly, what makes it so special, is when really likeable people that you grow really fond of, that you want to see grow…sometimes that doesn’t happen, and that’s what breaks your heart, and that’s what keeps you watching, and keeps you invested. I think it’s important.”

Matarazzo compared this to shows that use fake-outs or undo character deaths altogether. “I think there are so many shows where there are situations with people almost dying or dying and coming back. Where are the stakes here now, because anything could happen to anybody, and I just don’t think anything bad is going to happen at this point. And I’m glad that we don’t do that.”

The fifth and final season of Stranger Things is currently in production. Will all the characters make it out alive? Not if Matarazzo has anything to say about it. Keep your eyes on Dustin this season, he’s making me nervous.

As we prep for the finale, here's a guide on how to watch (and read) all the Stranger Things TV shows, specials, and books in order.