‘Stranger Things’ Confirms Indefinite Pause, Final Season in Jeopardy

in Entertainment

Millie Bobby Brown screaming as Eleven in 'Stranger Things'

Credit: Netflix

Over the past few years, the Duffer Brothers show Stranger Things has taken guests through the Upside Down and back in their 80’s style horror / coming-of-age show, which has meshed the worlds of spooky with action, adventure, romance, and normalcy.

The cast of Stranger Things
Credit: Netflix

Prior to Stranger Things, it had been quite some time since a show so unique was created. Now, after four seasons, the show is peaking at its highest popularity, but fans may end up highly disappointed with the recent news regarding the highly anticipated fifth and final season.

Created by the Duffer Brothers and featuring a talented cast, including Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, and Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, the show initially launched as a Netflix series. Since then, it has grown into a sprawling franchise encompassing books, merchandise, and video games.

This nostalgic journey unfolds in the 1980s within the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, where our group of young protagonists embarks on a thrilling adventure, encountering supernatural phenomena, government conspiracies, and the eerie parallel dimension known as the Upside Down.

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 D&D club huddling in 'Stranger Things' Season 4
Credit: Netflix

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.

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.

Lately, we have also heard major news which has caused for an expansion within the series.

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.

Stranger Things: The First Shadow is an upcoming stage play based on the Netflix original series Stranger Things. The play acts a prequel to the events of the series. It is being produced by Sonia Friedman’s production company in conjunction with Netflix and is scheduled to premiere on November 17, 2023 at the Phoenix Theatre in London’s West End.

Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in Stranger Things
Credit: Netflix

Stranger Things also has a prequel novel, which will come out on October 31, 2023.

“Stranger Things: Flight of Icarus” reveals a lot more backstory for fan-favorite character Eddie Munson.

The prequel novel, written by Caitlin Schneiderhan, who also works on the show, is set two years before the events of Stranger Things season 4, which introduced actor Joseph Quinn as the beloved high school metalhead and Dungeons & Dragons enthusiast.

Netflix is also developing a Stranger Things animated series in the vein of Saturday morning cartoons and a crossover comic series where the Party meets another group of 1980s heroes, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Netflix has also had record-breaking success with the show.

Millie Bobby Brown and FInn Wolfhard in Stranger Things
Credit: Netflix

Since the first instalment of the fourth season dropped on May 27th, viewers have spent a cumulative 1.15 billion hours watching the season’s nine episodes, including 301 million hours just this past weekend. That makes Stranger Things 4 the second most-watched Netflix season ever, after Squid Game in 2021.

Netflix, which currently has had to halt production due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, has spoken out recently noting that both Stranger Things, and Tim Burton’s Wednesday, which stars Jenna Ortega, will both be the main focus as soon as they are able to commence work.

Netflix CEO has noted that the company has lost billions during the strike, likely due to their inability to continue producing their highest-rated shows. 

On top of that, cast has begun stepping outside the Stranger Things bubble. Finn Wolfhard is directing his own films, becoming the face of cologne brands, and is still continuing to film mega-blockbusters like the sequel to his Ghostbusters franchise movie starring Paul Rudd. 

Millie Bobby Brown has recently spoken out on the show, noting that she is more than ready to move on from Eleven.

Combine the cast’s desperation to wrap this final chapter with the fact that Netflix cannot move forward on production, and you have a small fire that can burn into a large one if something is not done soon.

'Stranger Things' characters looking up at the sky in the Season 4 finale
Credit: Netflix

Considering the cast began filming Stranger Things at such a young age, prior to hitting puberty, we save massive changes in the actors throughout the season. Now, most of the actors are entering their 20’s. Even though we will likely not see major changes in terms of their aging, as the process is not as fast once this stage hits, the show is prepping for the cast to look much older by the time filming comes around.

Director Sean Levy recently spoke with Variety and said, “We’ve already watched the cast of our show grow up in the public eye, and between 12 and 22, every human being changes profoundly. This passage of time is definitely not helping. That being said, our hair and makeup and wardrobe department are pretty exceptional, using costumes and wigs and makeup. The ’80s are also our friends in returning these young adult actors to their iconic Hawkins characters. So we’re going to use all the tools available to us.”

Clearly, Levy and the entire Stranger Things production are expecting the actors to change a lot before the idea of filming is even an option. It seems that the strike delay has indeed left the show be placed into a forced hiatus for so long that the actors will no longer look like they are in their early twenties, and makeup tricks will have to be used.

Millie Bobby Brown in Stranger Things
Credit: Netflix

While there is no official release date yet, the Duffer Brothers have said they aim for a summer 2024 release. However, this statement was made before Hollywood shut down the production.

Negotiations regarding the SAG-AFTRA strike resume today, so if a conclusion is made, the show will not have to worry too much, however, if it continues to halt production, the summer 2024 release goal may become more and more of a fantasy that Vecna and the Demogorgon control.

Are you excited for Stranger Things season 5? 

 

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