FIRST LOOK ‘Stranger Things’ Season 5 Set Photos Leak, Reveal Main Character Change

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The young cast of 'Stranger Things' - L to R: Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Joe Keery (Steve Harrington), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Maya Hawke (Robin Buckley), Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield), and Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair) staring in shock

Credit: Netflix

Stranger Things Season 5 is officially in production following last year’s industry shutdown due to the SAG-AFTRA strikes. Newly shared set photos reveal two beloved characters are back in action, with one undergoing a notable change for the Shawn Levy-produced final season.

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

Stranger Things took the world by storm in 2016, and over four seasons has gone on to become one of the most watched and beloved television series of all time. Later this year, it will be two years since the climactic moments of Season 4, but the fifth season is likely not to debut until 2025.

Now, leaked set photos, by the way of Stranger Things Spoilers (@STSpoilers) on X (formerly Twitter), showcase the return of Gaten Matarazzo’s Dustin Henderson and Finn Wolfhard’s Mike Wheeler. Earlier photos show the set of Hawkins High School and a number of 80s vehicles.

Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) with surprised expression at school
Credit: Netflix

Matarazzo’s Dustin can be seen wearing a Hellfire Club shirt, the club that was led by Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn), while on the set of Hawkins High School. As for Mike Wheeler, it seems that the character is going back to his Season 1 look with a new, shorter hairstyle.

Gaten Matarazzo was seen filming #StrangerThings5 in Hawkins High School!

First look at Finn Wolfhard on the set of #StrangerThings5!

This new look for the older Mike drew a lot of attention, with many comments complaining about the haircut, but also loving this new direction for a fan-favorite character. Who knew the length of someone’s hair could draw so much contention?

Stranger Things Season 5 will return to the town of Hawkins following the events of Season 4, which left Sadie Sink’s Max Mayfield in the hospital, Joseph Quinn’s Eddie Munson dead in the Upside Down, and the ominous presence of the Upside Down bearing down on Hawkins after Noah Schapp’s Will Byers senses that Vecna, AKA Henry Creel or One (Jamie Campbell Bower) is still alive.

Stranger Things characters looking into the Upside Down
Credit: Netflix

Not much is known about the plot of the fifth season, officially titled Stranger Things 5, but it can be expected that more of Eleven’s (Millie Bobby Brown) past will be unveiled, and a final battle with Vecna is likely to happen. From Kate Bush to the Demogorgan’s return to the stacked cast, Stranger Things Season 4 catapulted the show to become the most-watched English language series of all time on the streamer, clocking in 1.352 billion hours viewed in its first 28 days. It is the overall second most-watched show, following Squid Game. Due to its loyal fanbase, and even with the controversy surrounding Will Byers actor Noah Schapp, Stranger Things 5 is likely to once again smash its own record.

Noah Schnapp in Stranger Things season four as Will Byers
Credit: Netflix

Related: ‘Stranger Things’ Replacement Developed, Joins Rare Club

But, in a way, Season 5 has already begun, thanks to the debut of Stranger Things: The First Shadow in London’s West End. The stage show began in November 2023 at the Phoenix Theater and acts as a prequel to the popular Netflix show. Stranger Things: The First Shadow is written by Kate Trefry from a story by the Duffer Brothers, Jack Thorne, and Trefry. Sonia Friedman produced, with Stephen Daldry directing. The show opened to rave reviews.

The ensemble cast of Stranger Things: The First Shadow assembled in front of high school lockers
Credit: Netflix/Manuel Harlan

Related: ‘Stranger Things’ Is Recasting Three of Its Main Characters

Stranger Things 5 will stream on Netflix upon its release. It stars Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, David Harbour as Jim Hopper, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven/Jane Hopper, Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair, Noah Schnapp as Will Byers, Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield, Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler, Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers, Joe Keery as Steve Harrington, Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley, Amybeth McNulty as Vickie, Priah Ferguson as Erica Sinclair, Brett Gelman as Murray Bauman, Cara Buono as Karen Wheeler, and Jamie Campbell Bower as Vecna/Henry Creel/One.

Will you be watching Stranger Things Season 5 when it drops on Netflix? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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