‘Stranger Things’ Lead Goes Solo Following Netflix Replacement

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Millie Bobby Brown and Finn Wolfhard in 'Stranger Things' Season 4

Credit: Netflix

Looks like one Stranger Things actor is leaving the upside down.

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.

Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in Stranger Things
Credit: Netflix

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. The streaming platform home of The Witcher, Squid Game, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Black Mirror turned its fortunes around so abruptly with the recent addition of password crackdowns, much like we are about to see Disney+ do.

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.

One series that has broken barriers when it comes to engulfing an entire world in a single storyline is Stranger Things. 

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

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 season 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.

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.

Dacre Montgomery as Billy in Stranger Things
Credit: Netflix

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

We recently wrote on the Stranger Things replacement plan that Netflix will have to create. The company will rely heavily on Jenna Ortega and her hit series.

It was recently reported that Netflix was attempting to expedite the production of both Stranger Things and Wednesday, but with Stranger Things nearing its conclusion, there’s a growing buzz about what series might step in to fill the void it leaves behind, and it seems that Wednesday is going to be positioned as Netflix’s new flagship show, with multiple reports indicating that the streaming platform hopes to have multiple more seasons with Jenna Ortega before the show reaches a conclusion.

With the show ending after one final season, the lead actors have begun spreading their wings, creating a legacy of their own.

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. 

Joe Keery, Maya Hawke, Sadie Sink, and Galen Matarazzo in Stranger Things
Credit: Netflix

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.

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

Now Wolfhard is branching out into the beauty space and expanding his creative portfolio once again as one of the new “voices” behind YSL Beauty’s men’s fragrance MYSLF, which comes four years after he was named the face of Saint Laurent in 2019.

The actor, producer and director, now 20, tells PEOPLE that he feels “honored” to be a part of a project of this caliber.

“I feel very lucky to be a part of this campaign,” he tells PEOPLE from Paris, ahead of an event with the French label celebrating the new launch.

Wolfhard says he’s learned to love — and appreciate — fragrance as he’s gotten older.

Netflix Logo on the left and shocked boys from 'Stranger Things' on the right
Credit: Inside the Magic

“Growing up, obviously, when you’re just a guy in high school, there’s not really much fragrance going on. There’s a lot of AXE body spray,” he remembers of his younger years.

“What’s so great about YSL and the fragrance is that it is breaking that [masculine] mold a little bit. I feel like I’m doing something artistic,” he explains of wearing MYSLF, which is rich with notes of bergamot and an orange blossom.

It says it’s also the brand’s elegance and simplicity that he identifies with.

Finn Wolfhard de-aged in 'It Chapter Two'
Credit: Warner Bros.

“When someone has a subtle fragrance on, it makes me feel almost comfortable, and I think there’s an overall cool factor when someone’s wearing a good smell,” he adds.

While he’s yet to use fragrance as a way to tap into his characters, he says scent definitely transports him to nostalgic moments in his own life.

“If I smell a fragrance or something, it reminds me of a certain time or a certain family member or friend.”

Currently, Finn is in production for the untitled Ghostbusters Sequel, which will be in theaters in 2024.

Are you sad to see Stranger Things coming to an end? 



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