‘Stranger Things 5’ Update: Release Date and Plot Announced Amid Netflix Suspension

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A young boy with a buzz cut and neck brace, wearing a plaid shirt, yells intensely in a barren, sandy landscape.

Credit: Netflix

While Stranger Things 5 is still quite a ways away from debuting on Netflix, multiple reports and spoilers have been released on the season’s plot, which has been kept under lock and key. Today, we will dive back into the Upside Down and take a look at what may occur in the final installment of Stranger Things.

Eleven and Will Byers in Stranger Things season 4.
Credit: Netflix

This article may contain spoilers, but unlike Vecna, we won’t use demonic vines and hold you here if you want to escape.

Stranger Things, the brainchild of the Duffer Brothers (Matt and Ross), first captivated audiences on Netflix in 2016. Set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana during the 1980s, the series follows a group of kids – Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and Eleven (played by Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, and Millie Bobby Brown respectively) – who stumble upon a terrifying secret involving government experiments, a parallel dimension known as the Upside Down, and a powerful telekinetic girl named Eleven.

The show quickly became a pop-culture phenomenon, praised for its nostalgic references, endearing characters, and thrilling blend of science fiction and horror. Season 3 alone garnered over 64 million views within its first month on Netflix, solidifying its place as a global streaming giant, with season 4 maintaining over 1 billion watched hours in its first month.

But Stranger Things isn’t just about catchy tunes and retro vibes; it’s a story about friendship, courage, and facing the unknown.

Six months after the harrowing events at Starcourt Mall, our group of friends finds themselves scattered. Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) has relocated to California with her sons Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) and Will (Noah Schnapp), attempting to build a new life away from the supernatural threats of Hawkins. Eleven, struggling to adjust to her ordinary life without her powers, remains in California with the Byers family.

Winona Ryder, Charlie Heaton, and Natalia Dyer sitting on a couch below Christmas lights in Stranger Things
Credit: Netflix

Back in Hawkins, Mike, Dustin, and Lucas navigate the awkward social dynamics of high school, with Lucas joining the cool kids’ basketball team and Mike clinging to a long-distance relationship with Eleven. Meanwhile, a new horror emerges in Hawkins. Teenagers begin to mysteriously die, their bodies contorted and seemingly drained of life. As the body count rises, Sheriff Hopper (David Harbour), presumed dead by everyone in Hawkins, finds himself a prisoner in a brutal Russian labor camp far from home.

Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink), still grappling with the trauma of Billy’s (Dacre Montgomery) death in the previous season, becomes a target of this new terror. Plagued by terrifying visions and a haunting grandfather clock, Max finds herself drawn towards a malevolent entity that resides within the Upside Down. This entity, Vecna, preys on his victims’ darkest fears and traumas before gruesomely killing them.

Eleven, sensing something wrong with Max from afar, attempts to use her remaining telekinetic abilities to help her friend. She reaches out to Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine), the scientist who experimented on her at Hawkins Lab, in hopes of regaining her powers. Meanwhile, Joyce, with the help of conspiracy theorist Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman), receives a cryptic package from Russia that hints at Hopper’s survival.

The cast of Stranger Things in a mall
Credit: Netflix

As the mystery of Vecna unfolds, the friends in Hawkins and Eleven in California must find a way to reunite, face their fears, and stop this new threat from the Upside Down before it consumes Hawkins and potentially the entire world.

Up until now, things have been kept under wraps when it comes to the plot of season 5. We do know that there will be time jumps, one at the beginning to make up for the large delay between season 4 and 5 which has caused the young cast to age, as well as one in the show, as Linda Hamilton has also been cast as Eleven, but a much older version of her.

We also know that Will Byers will be the central focus of this season, which makes sense considering his connection to Vecna.

Stranger Things News has now posted possible spoilers for the 5th season, which include:

Stranger Things S5 focuses on Eleven and the Military working to stop Hawkins from merging completely with the Upside Down.

– In the first episode, the Military poses the main threat, not Vecna. Expect the Duffer Brothers to gradually build up Vecna’s presence, similar to the Mind Flayer in previous seasons.

(So we’ll see subtle hints of Vecna throughout, but the Military are the main antagonists in episode 1)

– Will’s love interest will be a boy.

(This isn’t explicitly addressed by others, but the reaction to his coming out will be a key storyline)

– The entire town of Hawkins will merge with the Upside Down by the season finale.

So expect everything to look like the Upside Down – buildings, schools, staircases, parking lots, etc.

– Joyce, Will, and Jonathan will move into the cabin with Hopper and Eleven.

It will be interesting to see how Hawkins continues to be taken over by the Upside Down, and how the Duffer brothers rebuild the strength and horrors or Vecna, after already showing him in his full form, as well as how he can be defeated.

Right now, season 5 will be filming through to January 2025; however, Millie Bobby Brown said she would wrap up in December 2024. With a 2025 wrap date, there is a chance that the show will debut in the latter half of 2025 or the early half of 2026, according to Forbes. This is not what many fans expected, however, due to the issues surrounding the SAG-AFTRA strike and filming suspension, Netflix has not been able to secure a 2024 release.

What do you think of these early-on plot possibilities for Stranger Things 5? 

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