‘Stranger Things’ Actor “Forced” into Filming, Netflix Scandal Arises

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millie bobby brown and ensemble in stranger things

Credit: Netflix

One Stranger Things actor is stepping out, and speaking against his role in the show, noting that he did not want to do the role after awful character traits of the character were withheld from him during the casting process.

Stranger Things Mike Wheeler and Eleven dating
Credit: Netflix

Stranger Things has been one of the biggest series to hop out of the Netflix anthology of shows as of late. Of course, there are popular series such as Love is Blind, Squid Games, Too Hot Too Handle, Bridgerton, Money Heist, Wednesday, and more.

In recent years, the once-unquestioned dominance of Netflix in the world of streaming content has been challenged by the likes of Max, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. This time last year, it was reported that it had lost nearly a million subscribers, and shareholders were all but revolting against CEO Ted Sarandos.

Now, Netflix is showing astronomically higher numbers, including adding nearly six million new subscribers and increasing its free cash flow from approximately $13 million to a staggering $1.3 billion.

Stranger Things stars Gaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhard, and Sadie Sink
Credit: Netflix

Netflix has been the most influential streaming platform, originating as a DVD service and now, housing some of the most popular series to ever be created. Netflix has even changed the film industry by making it so that a new movie can be of an award-winning status but no longer needs a theatrical release, which has been customary for over 50 years.

Stranger Things is an American science fiction horror drama television series created by the Duffer Brothers for Netflix. Produced by Monkey Massacre Productions and 21 Laps Entertainment, the first season was released on Netflix on July 15, 2016. The second and third seasons followed in October 2017 and July 2019 respectively, and the fourth season aired in two parts in May and July 2022. In February 2022, Stranger Things was renewed for a fifth and final season.

Millie Bobby Brown screaming as Eleven in Stranger Things
Credit: Netflix

Set in the 1980s, the series centers around the residents of the fictional small town of Hawkins, Indiana, as they are plagued by a hostile alternate dimension known as the Upside Down, after a nearby human experimentation facility opens a gateway between it and the normal world.

The ensemble cast includes Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Cara Buono, Matthew Modine, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Joe Keery, Dacre Montgomery, Sean Astin, Paul Reiser, Maya Hawke, Priah Ferguson and Brett Gelman.

At the center of the story is the disappearance of a young boy named Will Byers and the appearance of a girl with psychokinetic abilities known as Eleven. The series quickly became a cultural phenomenon, earning critical acclaim for its nostalgic references to 80s pop culture, compelling characters, and suspenseful storytelling.

The cast, including breakout star Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, has garnered widespread recognition and praise for their performances, further cementing the franchise’s place in pop culture history.

As the story continues to evolve, fans eagerly anticipate each new chapter in the Stranger Things saga, making it one of the most iconic and enduring franchises in recent years.

Eddie Munson in Stranger Things
Credit: Netflix

We have also seen Stranger Things beyond the screen.

In addition to the TV series, the Stranger Things franchise has expanded to include tie-in novels, comic books, video games, and merchandise. The show’s success has also led to the creation of multiple seasons, with each instalment continuing to explore the otherworldly threats lurking in the Upside Down and the emotional growth of its young protagonists.

On top of that, the series has blown up so much so, that even Universal theme parks have capitalized on the IP. Halloween Horror Nights is the premiere Halloween event that guests can enjoy at both Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort. This year, guests can enter the world of Stranger Things as Stranger Things 4 has its very own house.

Stranger Things artwork poster
Credit: Netflix

While Stranger Things has gone on to become a cultural phenomenon, recent reports have indicated that major changes will be coming to the show as fans wait for Stranger Things season 5, as well as the prequel Strangers Things: The First Shadow, which is set to be a live play.

With the announcement of the prequel, it was confirmed that Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), as well as the rest of the cast, which includes Will Byers, Mike Wheeler, Lucas Sinclair, or Dustin Henderson would not be in the play, as presumably none of them have even been born yet.

As Netflix’s success with the franchise is coming to an end, they have had to turn to Wednesday, starring Jenna Ortega, another Netflix epic which placed fourth in most watched hours withing the first 28 days, right under Stranger Things season 4. It seems that Netflix is going to be looking to the series to fill in the gap Stranger Things is leaving behind.

With Ortega landing major Hollywood roles– including her work in the Scream franchise and upcoming production of Beetlejuice 2— the biggest question mark surrounding her would be if she would be able to take up the mantle for Netflix and handle the success and pressure that comes with carrying a company to that magnitude. Recent comments from Olivia Rodrigo seem to confirm that Ortega is absolutely ready to do just that.

Olivia Rodrigo recently commented on this, stating, “Jenna and I grew up watching the Disney Channel together, and it’s a very strange way to grow up. But I always thought she was the best, and I’m so happy for her and all her success. I really don’t know anyone kinder or more worthy”.

Jenna Ortega dancing as Wednesday Addams in 'Wednesday'
Credit: Netflix

We recently discussed that Stranger Things actors have been spreading their wings, delving into newer projects to gain new notoriety outside of the franchise. 

Millie Bobby Brown has actually been doing this for years. Her talent in the show did not go unrecognized, and now the 19-year-old is already a published author with “Nineteen Steps: A Novel.” She is also engaged to Jacob Hurley Bongiovi and has starred in mega-blockbusters such as Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

Now, Finn Wolfhard, who plays the role of Mike Wheeler is also taking off. The actor has been in a prolific amount of films since his time filming the first season of Stranger Things, including It, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, and more. Considering the actor began on Stranger Things at age 12, his growth has truly been astounding. He is also now the face of a new cologne campaign, sharing his overall “grownup” persona as he moves toward more adult-facing campaigns.

Recently, one actor from the franchise has sparked controversy after sharing he was “forced” to join Stranger Things, even though he did not want to.

Matthew Modine is one of the prolific actors in the industry who rose to prominence with Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. The actor has starred in Birdy, Vision Quest, Married to the Mob, Gross Anatomy Pacific Heights, Short Cuts Cutthroat Island, and The Dark Knight Rises. Most recently, he appeared in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, where he had a majority of his scenes with Robert Downey Jr.

Modine also starred in Stranger Things, playing the role of Dr. Martin Brenner, who is a father-like figure to Eleven. The character is a callous and manipulative scientist who experiments on children with the hope of creating a superpowered individual.

Martin Brenner and Eleven in Stranger Things
Credit: Netflix

In an interview with The Guardian, Modine spoke out on his role and said, “I didn’t want to do it. The Duffer Brothers kept saying: “Oh he’s going to be really important.” They never told me he was kidnapping children. I passed, but they kept ringing me up and made it really difficult for me to say no.”

Clearly, we can see that Modine was not initially aware of the character he was signing up for, and the Duffer brothers went with the notion of ask for forgiveness, not permission.

In the end, Modine said, “I responded to their passion and he became a really interesting, complex character.”

So, it seems that Modine did not have regrets, but if he had the initial choice that was not berated and altered by guilt and begging, he would have never appeared in Stranger Things. 

What do you think about this revelation regarding Stranger Things?

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