Finale Failure: ‘Stranger Things’ Ruined by Netflix’s Casting Change

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Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven and ensemble cast

Credit: Netflix

Did Netflix really just hire one of the least serious performers to star in the final season of one of their most popular shows?

It appears that the answer is yes.

Two young boys stand in a barren landscape, looking concerned. one wears a neck brace and a plaid shirt, the other a checkered shirt. open sky and dry ground stretch behind them.
Credit: Netflix

When it comes to the final season of Stranger Things 5, we have heard of some new casting.

As previously reported, iconic actress Linda Hamilton joins the cast of Stranger Things season 5. Hamilton will portray an older version of Eleven, hinting at the character’s potential survival beyond the upcoming battle for Hawkins.

This casting choice adds another layer of intrigue, considering Hamilton’s past experience with time travel narratives. For those unfamiliar, the 67-year-old actress famously played Sarah Connor, mother of future resistance leader John Connor (Edward Furlong), in the sci-fi classics The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991).

We also heard rumors of Miley Cyrus joining the cast after a long hiatus from her acting career. However, that is solely a rumor at the moment.

Holly Wheeler has also been recast with Nell Fisher, which could either signify a time jump with an older actress than the previous twin sisters Anniston and Tinsley Price, or a larger role that required a stronger actor.

Stranger Things isn’t just bringing back the familiar faces for its fifth season. The show is expanding its cast with several new roles that hint at the direction the story might take.

One area of focus seems to be the growing involvement of the military or other government entities. The casting call seeks actors to portray army or military personnel, suggesting that the threat posed by Vecna may necessitate a larger, more coordinated response.

Additionally, the search for young actors aged 8-10 opens the door for a new generation of Hawkins residents to be introduced. These youngsters could potentially play a significant role in the upcoming events, whether by becoming allies of the main characters or presenting unforeseen challenges.

Stranger Things
Credit: Netflix

Beyond the broader categories, a specific casting call piques curiosity. The description of Derek, an overweight 8-10-year-old boy of any ethnicity, paints a picture of a social outcast with a rebellious streak.

Derek’s lack of friends, rudeness towards adults, and bullying behavior raise questions about how he might interact with the established Hawkins group and what role he might play in the season’s narrative. Will he become an unlikely ally, or will his outsider status create additional complications for the characters we already know and love?

What’s to Come in Stranger Things 5?

The dramatic cliffhanger that concluded Stranger Things 4 has left fans across the globe eagerly awaiting answers. Season 5, the highly anticipated final chapter of the Netflix phenomenon, promises an epic showdown between the heroes of Hawkins and the villainous Vecna, who now threatens to merge the human world with his terrifying Upside Down.

While concrete details remain scarce, and the release date is still a mystery, piecing together casting calls and reported filming locations offers some intriguing insights into what lies ahead.

Unlike previous seasons that picked up right where the action left off, season 5 is expected to begin a significant time after the events of season 4. Casting calls seeking vintage cars from 1988 hint at a two-year time jump, placing the story at least a year after the previous season’s conclusion. This jump could depict a desolate Hawkins, its residents long evacuated, as Vecna’s monstrous forces take hold.

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

The season’s focus will likely shift to Hawkins and the Upside Down, with a smaller geographical scope compared to season 4’s expansive narrative. Here, the protagonists are expected to join forces with the military in a desperate attempt to prevent the two worlds from permanently merging.

The grand scale established in season 4 is likely to continue, but the focus will shift to the consequences of the Upside Down’s intrusion. Photos from the set reveal an Upside Down version of Hawkins Lab being constructed, hinting at a chilling possibility: Vecna might convert his former prison into his own twisted headquarters.

Additionally, glimpses of Hawkins itself suggest a transformation – the once familiar town may be warped and ravaged by the influence of the Upside Down, creating a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Filming locations offer further clues about the narrative’s direction. A return to Will Byers’ childhood fort, Castle Byers, sparks speculation about a potential exploration of his past. Images of Hopper at the Nina Project facility, where Eleven regained her powers in season 4, suggest he might revisit a place of significance.

Additionally, filming at the Creel House, Vecna’s childhood home and base of operations within the Upside Down, implies a possible return to the core of the evil dimension.

Vecna coming out of a wall in the Stranger Things 4 house
Credit: Universal Studios

The purpose of scenes filmed at a radio station remains unclear, but radios have played a crucial role in past seasons, both for communication and as a tool for Eleven to focus her telekinetic abilities.

The focus on Will Byers, a central character in the show’s earlier seasons, may return. Matt Duffer, one of the show’s creators, has confirmed a stronger emphasis on Will in season 5, suggesting he will “come into his own.”

Rumors even hint at a potential love interest for the character. Will’s unique psychic connection to Vecna and the Upside Down’s hive mind might be crucial in defeating the villain. This ability could even become the key to stopping Vecna once and for all. Since the entire story began with Will’s disappearance, it’s fitting that he plays a pivotal role in its conclusion.

The Duffer Brothers have also revealed that the final season will incorporate unused ideas originally planned for season 2. Season 2 explored Will’s possession by the Mind Flayer, an extension of Vecna. This plot thread might be revisited in season 5. Furthermore, the heroes may delve back into the Upside Down tunnels formed beneath Hawkins in season 2, potentially reconnecting with the show’s past.

'Stranger Things' artwork poster
Credit: Netflix

The creators have promised an emotional conclusion to the series. Both the Duffer Brothers and executive producer Shawn Levy have confirmed a season filled with high stakes and a focus on the beloved characters, guaranteeing an emotional rollercoaster of a journey. Finally, the Duffer Brothers have hinted that the season’s overall tone will evoke a sense of nostalgia, reminiscent of the earlier seasons, despite the larger scale of the narrative.

While details remain shrouded in secrecy, Stranger Things 5 promises an epic culmination of the saga. Filled with familiar characters, suspenseful encounters, and a final showdown against the forces of darkness, this season is sure to be a bittersweet farewell for fans who have grown attached to the world of Hawkins and its heroes.

While all of this sounds incredible, the latest casting seems to not be as reflective of these emotional twists and turns.

The Hollywood Handle has reported that Weird Al Yankovic will now be starring in Stranger Things 5, with a photo of him on set alongside Finn Wolfhard and Gaten Matarazzo (who play Mike Wheeler and Dustin Henderson)

Weird Al Yankovic seemingly teasing a cameo in ‘STRANGER THINGS 5’

“Yesterday was pretty bizarre, but stranger things are happening today.”

Weird Al is certainly not known for his acting abilities, and whenever they have been showcased, it has been in an over-the-top farce/comedic tone, which does not match with the world of Stranger Things 5, and certainly not an emotional final season. That being said, with a small cameo role, perhaps the Duffer brothers were able to sneak him in without having his acting style derail the show too much.

The core cast of Stranger Things is confirmed to return for its epic final season. Millie Bobby Brown will reprise her iconic role as Eleven/Jane Hopper, alongside Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), and Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield).

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

The group’s ever-reliable allies, Joe Keery’s Steve Harrington and Maya Hawke’s Robin Buckley, are also set to return. Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler) and Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers) will undoubtedly be back in the thick of things, with Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers) and David Harbour (Jim Hopper) ready to face whatever dangers await.

Rounding out the familiar faces are the ever-strategic Murray Bauman, played by Brett Gelman, and the season 4 antagonist, Jamie Campbell Bower, returning as Vecna/Henry Creel/One, ensuring a final confrontation for the ages.

With a January 2025 wrap date, Stranger Things 5 will likely hit Netflix in late 2025, or early 2026. 

What do you think of Weird Al Yankovic joining Stranger Things 5? 

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