The third season of Stranger Things could have easily served as a series finale if not for the mid-credits scene, which opened up a new gate of Upside Down intrigue and left us wondering if Hawkins' chief of police was actually history or not. However, we now know the answer to that cliffhanger and a few other details about Stranger Things 4, which has officially begun production. Read on to find out everything we know about Stranger Things Season 4 so far.
It could be the last season. Although producer Shawn Levy told Collider that he thinks there's possibly room for another season after Stranger Things 4, the show's co-creators seem to want the next run to be the show's last. In 2017, Ross Duffer told Vulture, "We're thinking it will be a four-season thing and then out." His brother Matt Duffer echoed that sentiment, saying, "I don't know if we can justify something bad happening to them once a year." Yet despite the Duffers' claims, the fourth season was not announced as a final season — leaving room for more Stranger Things to come.
It will likely have eight episodes. According to TVLine, the fourth season will again have eight episodes, the same as it had in both Season 1 and Season 3. Season 2 is the outlier, with nine episodes.
Hopper will return. The most gut-wrenching moment of the Stranger Things 3 finale was when Jim Hopper (David Harbour) seemingly sacrificed himself so Joyce (Winona Ryder) could close the gate to the Upside Down and blow up the machine. His letter to Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) rubbed extra salt in that wound, with Hopper expressing how he truly feels about Eleven seemingly too late. David Harbour told ET Online that he had "hope" Hopper would be the mysterious American in Russian captivity right now, saying, "He did glance around a little bit, but he seemed to be trapped and the machine exploded. And then you cut to... some town in Russia right? Where there's some American and some prisoner. I don't know, I mean, it seems strange," he said. And, indeed, the first teaser for Stranger Things 4 confirmed that he is indeed alive.
However, it's not going to be all smooth sailing for the good chief of police. In a letter, the Duffers explained that "he is imprisoned far from home in the snowy wasteland of Kamchatka, where he will face dangers both human...and other."
Prepare for a new type of horror. The Duffers also revealed that our Hawkins pals who are still in America will also face a grave new threat, writing, "a new horror is beginning to surface, something long buried, something that connects everything."
The Byers family is moving to a new location. The tail end of Stranger Things 3 saw Joyce selling her house and relocating to another town with Will (Noah Schnapp), Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), and a newly de-powered Eleven after a particularly gutting goodbye to those they were leaving behind. At least one actor expects fans to see the characters in this new setting next season. As Noah Schnapp told ET Online, "I know that I might have a separate storyline from everyone else, so we might be filming, like, in another place." Matt Duffer confirmed Schnapp's suspicions that we might see some action outside of the original town, telling EW, "It's going to open up a little bit, not necessarily in terms of scale, in terms of special effects, but open up in terms of allowing plot lines into areas outside of Hawkins."
The first teaser for the fourth season stated bluntly that our heroes are "not in Hawkins anymore." The same teaser also indicated that time will be a big factor in the new season, and we already have some theories about how that might happen.
Erica will play an even bigger role. Priah Ferguson, who plays Lucas' (Caleb McLaughlin) younger sister Erica, has been promoted to series regular for the upcoming fourth season. Season 3 ended by showing the kids transitioning from childhood to young adulthood, with Dustin even passing on the gang's Dungeons & Dragons set to Erica in the finale's final minutes. So it'll be fun to see whether Erica has embraced her nerd side when the show picks back up.
Some of the younger kids might get jobs. We don't know how old the Dungeons & Dragons party will be when Stranger Things returns for a fourth season, but there's a chance that Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) could follow the lead of his pal Steve (Joe Keery) and become gainfully employed by the time we see him again. "For so long, I've wanted to see him work at the Arcade — at the Palace Arcade with Keith — and have Keith be his boss," Gaten Matarazzo told ET Online. "They have that rivalry and it's hilarious and I want to work with Matty [Cardarople] more because he's amazing." Matarazzo also said he expects audiences to get more of Dustin's girlfriend Suzie (Gabriella Pizzolo) in the new season.
It'll have a different feel than Stranger Things 3. While Ross Duffer said that he and his brother only had the "broad strokes" of a fourth season in mind after Stranger Things 3 hit screens, they do believe it'll have a different vibe than the previous season. "We're pretty excited about where it's potentially going to go," he told EW. "It's going to feel very different than this season. But I think that's the right thing to do and I think it'll be exciting."
Four new dudes will be joining the cast. The Duffer Brothers are determined to further increase testosterone levels on Stranger Things by adding four fresh male recurring roles, TVLine reports. Three of them will be teenagers and one will be an adult. Character descriptions for the teens include a jock, a Valley boy type in the vein of Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and a metalhead. The adult, meanwhile, will reportedly have a prominent role in a storyline far from Hawkins.
We already know some of the movies that will inspire the new season. Stranger Things' writers began revealing a series of films that are being discussed in conjunction with the series somehow, and the list includes The Peanut Butter Solution,The Fisher King, Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, You've Got Mail, Ordinary People, Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Billy Madison, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Black Swan, Young Sherlock Holmes, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Hackers, Silence of the Lambs, and The Good Son, to name a few.
The first episode of the season is titled "The Hellfire Club." The Twitter account for the Stranger Things writers' room shared a photo of the cover page for the script for Episode 1, revealing the title to be "The Hellfire Club." It's anyone's guess whether this is an allusion to the old, British secret society or a nod to the Hellfire Club from Marvel comics (we're leaning toward the comics, obviously), but we're jazzed for the mini-spoiler nonetheless!
looking for new members... are you in? pic.twitter.com/P1xAWNUPss— Stranger Things Day Hype Account (also Writers) (@strangerwriters) November 7, 2019
Stranger Things Seasons 1-3 are now streaming on Netflix.