It’s been months since the new season of Stranger Things premiered, but in addition to a teaser trailer and first episode title for season 4, Joe Keery just teased info about the tone of the fourth season.
Here’s everything we know about the next installment, including a favorite character’s return and news that the premiere date has been delayed.
What’s the tone of the new season?
In a recent interview with Total Film magazine, Joe Keery (who plays Steve Harrington) revealed this could be the scariest season yet. “Oh man, it’s pretty amazing—the Duffer brothers have really done it again,” he said. “I think that this year—and I know I say this every single year—but this is definitely going to be a lot scarier than prior years, because last year was pretty dark.”
He also joked that he didn’t keep his iconic Scoops Ahoy outfit, explaining, “I know that costume served its purpose and I’m glad to retire it [Laughs]. Do I have it at home for Halloween? I don’t, unfortunately. They won’t let me have that one. One day!”
What’s the release date?
No release date has officially been announced. David Harbour hinted during a recent Instagram Live Q&A that the fourth season was set to premiere in 2021, but since production was shut down over COVID-19 safety concerns, the show’s release date will likely be pushed back. “[Season 4 was] supposed to come out early next year, I think, although I don’t have authority on this,” Harbour told fans on the IG livestream. He added that “due to all the delays, this release window is likely to be pushed back.” (Netflix has not formally confirmed this info.)
As Inverse pointed out, the series has had a pretty predictable release schedule. It first premiered in the summer of 2016, followed by the fall of 2017 and then again in the summer of 2019. With that pattern, some guessed we would see season 4 in the fall of 2020.
Until we know for sure, the Stranger Things writers’ Twitter account has had fun teasing fans about the release date.
Will Hopper return in Stranger Things season 4?
Valentine’s Day 2020 saw confirmation of the return of Hopper (David Harbour). a new teaser features his character, and the creators released the following statement:
We’re excited to officially confirm that production on Stranger Things 4 is now underway—and even more excited to announce the return of Hopper! Although it’s not all good news for our “American;” he is imprisoned far from home in the snowy wasteland of Kamchatka, where he will face dangers both human…and other. Meanwhile, back in the states, a new horror is beginning to surface, something long buried, something that connects everything…
Season 4 is shaping up to be the biggest and most frightening season yet, and we cannot wait for everyone to see more. In the meantime—pray for the American.
From Russia with love, The Duffer Brothers.
Have we gotten other filming updates on Stranger Things 4?
On September 30, 2019, Netflix confirmed the fourth season with an ominous teaser video. All that appears in the 45-second clip is the Stranger Things 4 logo along with the foreboding tagline: “We’re not in Hawkins anymore.” This suggests a new locale for the next season, as well as uncharted territory for the central characters.
For those in search of additional clues about the next season, Netflix released a video of the Stranger Things 4 table read. In it, all of your favorite Hawkins citizens, including Millie Bobby Brown, Winona Ryder, Natalia Dyer, Finn Wolfhard, Noah Schnapp, Caleb McLaughlin, Maya Hawke, and yes, David Harbour, make appearances. Plus, Brett Gelman, who plays conspiracy theorist Murray Bauman, was recently promoted to series regular.
Deadline also reported that the new season would shoot in New Mexico. During Deadline’s recent Hotspots: New Mexico conference, Netflix’s VP of physical production Momita SenGupta said, “Season 4 is bigger, bolder and more intricate than ever,” adding, “So this is the first time the show will be traveling beyond Atlanta.”
As for what footage the show will be shooting in the new location? “If I told you that, I would be disappearing into the Witness Protection Program,” SenGupta joked.
What is the title of the first Stranger Things 4 episode?
On November 6, the Stranger Things writers revealed the title of the upcoming season’s first episode. Called “Chapter One: The Hellfire Club,” it spells dark times ahead for Eleven and the rest of the Hawkins gang. The tweet that accompanied the announcement reads, “looking for new members…are you in?”
The Sun notes that the Hellfire Club is also what a group of X-Men villains are referred to in the Dark Phoenix comics of the ’80s. In it, Emma Frost attempts to lure Jean Grey, who shares telepath capabilities just like Eleven, to the dark side. Many are speculating Eleven will be similarly tempted in the new season.
What does Natalia Dyer, aka Nancy, know about season 4?
ELLE.com recently caught up with Natalia Dyer, who plays Nancy on Stranger Things, about her hopes for the new season and her character. “I see her as this person in pursuit of information and justice and I can’t see her putting that investigative nose down,” Dyer said. “I loved seeing the sensitive side of Nancy and the badass side of Nancy. I hope she’s still going strong and her instincts and her passion remains intact.”
As for loose ends from the third season she’d like to see resolved? “Obviously what happens to Hopper, but also the Byers move away—what’s that going to be like, especially since everyone is in a relationship?” she wondered. “I feel like long-distance is hard nowadays, so imagine long-distance relationships back then.” Dyer even speculated that Nancy could reunite with Steve. “I’d love to see if her and Steve would ever get back together, or at least if they get closure. Will their chapter ever close? I’m very curious. Also, I want her to get a female friend. RIP Barb.”
Will season 4 be the final season of Stranger Things?
The series’ creators, the Duffer brothers, told Vulture in 2017 that season 4 could be the end of the series. “We’re thinking it will be a four-season thing and then out,” Ross Duffer said. His brother, Matt, followed: “I don’t know if we can justify something bad happening to them once a year.”
But executive producer Shawn Levy seemed to tease a different outcome. “There’s very much the possibility of a season beyond that one, that’s currently undecided,” he told Collider. “And what I would just say is part of the chaos and fun of this particular show is that while the Duffers and the writer’s room and we producers outline the entire season, the Duffers really use the writing process to revisit, reassess, and question all of their prior assumptions.”
What questions will season 4 have to answer?
If we do get a season 4 in 2020, then we’ve got some questions.
What monsters will be back?
The Mind Flayer appears to be gone, but each season, something worse than the last appears. If the Duffers are really going to end with season 4, then the final creature will be a doozy. We do know there’s still a Demogorgon out there somewhere in Russia—could there be others, or is there a way to reproduce them?
And with Will and Eleven now away from the monster epicenter of Hawkins, where will we see future creatures? Can monsters travel outside of Hawkins? Could the crew even travel to Russia?
What happened to Hopper?
Now that we know he’s in Kamchatka, it’s going to be really hard to wait for more info about his fate.
Will the core group stay friends?
At the end of season 3, we see the Byers family—plus Eleven—move out of Hawkins. Throughout the season we already saw signs of the original friend group growing apart, like Dustin feeling left out and Will feeling distant from the others because of their girl troubles. With Will and Eleven now on their way elsewhere, what will happen to this team?
Will will become of the older kids?
Nancy, Jonathan, Steve, and Robin are all moving on to the next steps in their lives. They’ve stood by their younger siblings through all this crazy monster stuff, so they’re sure to be in the mix somewhere. Now that Nancy and Jonathan have been fired from the Hawkins Post, what’s next? Will Steve become some kind of movie aficionado? And will Robin ever get to tell Tammy Thompson about her love?
Stranger Things 3 is streaming now on Netflix.