‘Wednesday’ Season 2, ‘Stranger Things’ Season 5 Cast New Leads

in Television

Wednesday (Jenna Ortega) and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) in collage

Credit: Inside the Magic

Netflix is feverishly working on the upcoming seasons of its two most popular shows, but fans are worried that the casting of two new lead actors on Wednesday and Stranger Things is bad news.

Millie Bobby Brown in Stranger Things (left) and Jenna Ortega in Wednesday
Credit: Netflix

Stranger Things was first released in 2016, immediately becoming a flagship series for the streaming platform and one of its most critically acclaimed IPs. Core ensemble members like Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Joe Keery, and Sadie Sink have become global breakout stars, while veteran character actors like Winona Ryder, David Harbour, and Matthew Modine have all seen a significant boost in their latter-day careers.

However, Stranger Things is set to conclude with the upcoming season 5. That means it will be handing the “Biggest Show on Netflix” tiara over to Wednesday, the young adult horror-comedy-drama produced by Tim Burton and featuring Jenna Ortega. Only one season in, Wednesday is already one of the biggest hits that Netflix has had in years and launched its lead actress (who portrays a teenaged Wednesday Addams) as a marquee name.

Jenna Ortega smiling as Wednesday Addams
Credit: Netflix

Related: ‘Stranger Things 5’ Forced into New Restriction, Content Ban Enforced by Netflix

Unfortunately for fans of both Stranger Things and Wednesday, the upcoming seasons of both shows have hit numerous issues. The WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes of 2023 shut down production on both series, with Jenna Ortega, in particular, catching flak for publicly criticizing the writers of her show as they attempted to negotiate for better working conditions and rights.

But even after the strikes were resolved, both Stranger Things season 5 and Wednesday season 2 have had numerous delays. Wednesday has lost several cast members since production was announced, while Stranger Things is reportedly still months from even being done filming, let alone having a concrete release date.

Millie Bobby Brown, with a buzz cut, wearing a light sweater, looks intently forward in an open field with people blurred in the background under a cloudy sky.
Credit: Netflix

It is worrisome for fans that the next season of both shows has been in development for over a year and is still casting new actors. While some changes are inevitable during production, it is not a great sign when actors are being announced as appearing in a show at the same time as the season was supposed to be released.

Netflix recently announced that Stranger Things season 5 will add a new mystery lead actor, portrayed by Terminator legend Linda Hamilton. Although it has not been confirmed, it has been strongly rumored that Hamilton will be playing an older version of Eleven, the same character played by Millie Bobby Brown.

Related: Major Updates: Netflix Axes ‘Wednesday’ Season 2 Release

Meanwhile, Wednesday season 2 has recently added two new cast members: Steve Buscemi and Thandiwe Newton (per Variety). While it has been reported that Buscemi will be playing the new principal of Nevermore Academy (the school attended by the Addams Family scion), it is still unclear who Newton could be playing in the upcoming season.

While these announcements of new cast members don’t necessarily mean that there are further delays ahead for either Wednesday or Stranger Things, it doesn’t comfort fans of the show to know that pieces of the shows are still being put in place. If Netflix could even announce a release date for either show and stick to it, that might help a little.

When do you think Wednesday and Stranger Things will ever be released? Tell us in the comments below!

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