‘Stranger Things 5’ Reworked After Millie Bobby Brown’s Unannounced Departure

in Entertainment

A young woman dramatically expressing anger or frustration with an outstretched hand toward the camera, surrounded by a crowd of onlookers in a sunny, outdoor setting.

Credit: Netflix

Another teaser has just been given regarding the Stranger Things 5 season, it confirms a theory that many of us in the fandom have had for quite some time.

Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) looking at the sky in 'Stranger Things' Season 4's final scene
Credit: Netflix

Stranger Things 5 is currently filming its final season after having a lengthy delay from the SAG/AFTRA strike that shut down Hollywood for over 100 days in 2023. Considering Stranger Things 4 debuted on Netflix in 2022, many were hoping to see the finale to the groundbreaking series return this year.

As we now know, that will not be happening, and the Upside Down and Vecna will have to wait. 

Millie Bobby Brown, who plays the telekinetic heroine Eleven, confirmed that she will be filming through to December 2024, which means that the show will not be ready this year. Before Brown confirmed the filming schedule, which wraps December 22, 2024, Netflix also dropped a sizzle reel of their 2024 line up, which did highlight two other massive shows: Bridgerton season three and Squid Game season two.

With such a long break between seasons four and five, the question of the timeline has been asked since the group of kids who lead the series is no longer looking like children.

Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine) and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) in Stranger Things
Credit: Netflix

When Stranger Things began in 2016, our lead cast consisted of Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard), a loyal friend and leader; Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), a girl with telekinetic abilities; Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo), a witty and curious adventurer; Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin), a rational and cautious member of the group; and Will Byers (Noah Schnapp), who went missing, triggering the events of the series. Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink) was not in season one; however, she joined in the second season of the show, rounding out the younger half of the cast.

Many of these actors were around 12 years old when the show started, and now, they are aging faster than the timeline of the show.

Season one of Stranger Things took place in 1983, and season four took place in 1986. With a two-year no-filming gap, however, continuing the show from the moment it ended in season four would be stark because the characters no longer look the same.

While this seems like an easy fix, the ending of season four does make it hard not to pick up where the show left off due to the state of Hawkins.

Netflix’s Stranger Things season four finale presents the signature action-packed climax of the series, marked by unexpected character losses (Eddie Munson) and emotionally resonant scenes. Episode nine, titled The Piggyback, sees Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) facing off against Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower), keeping viewers in suspense regarding the outcome. At the same time, the uncertain fate of Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink) underscores the importance of camaraderie among Eleven’s friends.

The cast of Stranger Things in a mall
Credit: Netflix

In the end, while Vecna is hurt, he is not defeated.

The portal between the Upside Down and the Earth is torn open, ripping through Hawkins. The season ends with Will Byers, who is connected to Vecna, feeling the monster’s thoughts and confirming he will be back. Seeing the town torn up and in danger, it is tough to imagine any of the residents will want to stay in Hawkins, but for season five to conclude, that is where the characters must reside, so to make a time jump make sense where the characters are still living in an Upside Down-covered Hawkins is a tough sell.

Stranger Things executive producer Shawn Levy said the team has a plan, however, to deal with the aging cast, per Teen Vogue. “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,” he told Variety, adding that the show will rely primarily on the good old-fashioned power of hair and makeup to de-age the main cast versus digital time travel in the form of heavy CGI.

The cast of Stranger Things
Credit: Netflix

Additionally, Stranger Things Spoilers have confirmed that the fifth season will not take place right after the events of season four, so there will likely be a way that the residents of Hawkins will continue to reside there. According to a photo of an on-set prop, the year that we will be entering in 1987, which is a one year jump, and enough to explain any slight physical changes.

🚨UPDATE: #StrangerThings5 will reportedly take place in 1987!

A new Hawkins Police Department document has been found INSIDE the hospital set, including the year 1987!

A time jump has yet to be confirmed for season five, which makes this leak a massive plot point for fans to analyze.

We also can expect another time jump, as Linda Hamilton, who starred in The Terminator, has been cast as Eleven, so it seems we will see how Elle turns out as an adult before the series ends.

While the show is being filmed, Millie herself is not on set. We recently saw that she was at Walt Disney World and it was confirmed that Brown would not be filming any part of the show and was on a downtime break. Being an ensemble show, however, it makes sense that Brown is not needed on set every day as she is not in all of the scenes. That being said, Hawkins is the main location in season five, unlike season four’s three locations that we bounced between, which will likely require the ensemble’s availability more often.

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

We also know that Noah Schnapp’s character, Will Byers, will hold a large portion of the plot, which makes sense as he is the only character connected to Vecna.“I can just tell you that I’m very very excited for what’s to come,” Schnapp said. “I think they did a great job with Will’s character this season and beautifully addressed everything they needed to. The way they closed the show is just perfect — the story started with Will, and it’ll end with Will.”

A release date has not yet been given for Stranger Things 5. However, it does seem likely that a 2025 release will take place; with filming wrapping at the end of 2024 and with the show already being delayed, 2026 does feel too long of a time frame to have to wait.

What do you expect will happen in Stranger Things 5? 

in Entertainment

View Comments (12)