Confirmed: ‘Stranger Things “Not Returning” to Netflix in 2025

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Millie Bobby Brown against the Stranger Things logo

Credit: Inside the Magic

Stranger Things has officially been filming for 6 months now, and there is still a long way to go. Based on season 4’s editing timeline, fans of the Upside Down may have to stay in their fandom coma with Max just slightly longer than anticipated.

A young woman with a distressed expression is being escorted by two men in suits. The man on the left has a mustache, while the man on the right has a serious look. They are outside, near an open car door. You'd think they were shooting *Stranger Things*, but it’s actually during a filming hiatus.
Credit: Netflix

Set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, the Netflix series Stranger Things, created by the Duffer Brothers, has captivated audiences worldwide since its 2016 debut. This chilling and suspenseful series boasts a compelling narrative, complete with eerie settings, well-developed characters, and surprising plot twists.

Central to the story is Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown, who just married her now husband Jake Bongiovi), a young girl with extraordinary abilities and a penchant for Eggo waffles. Her journey from the enigmatic Hawkins National Laboratory (HNL), a government facility conducting unethical experiments on children with supernatural powers, remains a core mystery of the series.

Viewers are propelled deeper into the world of Stranger Things as they explore the enigmatic HNL. This sterile and ominous laboratory serves as the backdrop for Eleven’s harrowing experiences. She grapples with a difficult past and confronts menacing creatures like Demogorgons, the Mind Flayer, and Vecna, all while battling those who seek to control her powers.

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 has enjoyed immense popularity since its inception. Originally pitched to cable networks, the series was initially rejected due to concerns that a child-centric story wouldn’t resonate with viewers. Recommendations included turning it into a children’s show or focusing solely on the adult characters.

Fortunately, Netflix took a chance on the Duffer Brothers’ vision, propelling Stranger Things to massive success and leaving the initial rejecting networks with a touch of regret. Season 1 shattered Netflix viewership records, solidifying the series’ place as a cultural phenomenon.

At the moment, Squid Game is the top show on Netflix, and with season 2 coming out later this year, it may leave Stranger Things with an even tougher record to beat when season 5 debuts. Especially considering the fact that the Tim Burton masterpiece Wednesday, starring the beloved Jenna Ortega, dethroned Stranger Things with its first season, leaving Stranger Things at the bottom of the top 3 record.

So, when is season 5 going to come out?

Stranger Things season four presented a significant escalation in challenges for the protagonists. The previously cohesive group now faces geographical separation, further complicating their efforts. Eleven, a central character to the narrative, grapples with the debilitating loss of her powers.

This vulnerability coincides with the emergence of a menacing new threat from the Upside Down: Vecna, also known as Henry Creel. The season is rife with suspense as a series of mysterious deaths plague Hawkins, raising the stakes to an unprecedented level.

While the season concludes with Vecna sustaining injuries, a lingering connection detected by Will Byers, who has a unique link to the Upside Down from season one, foreshadows Vecna’s return in the show’s final season.

Steve (Joe Keery) and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) walking together in Stranger Things
Credit: Netflix

Production for Stranger Things season five began promptly on August 2nd, 2022, shortly after the conclusion of season four’s second volume. However, unforeseen delays arose due to the 2023 writer and actor strikes, necessitating a temporary suspension. Fortunately, Netflix announced a resumption of production on January 8th, 2024, which continues to the present day.

This, unfortunately, translates to a wait of at least one year before audiences can reunite with the Hawkins gang for the series’ final chapter. While Netflix hasn’t confirmed a specific release window, fans can tentatively expect a 2025 premiere based on historical production trends. The initial plan envisioned a simultaneous release for all episodes, but the significant delays may necessitate another split season similar to season four.

As of today, June 9th, 2024, there is no official release date for Stranger Things season five. However, educated guesses can be made based on past production cycles. Season four required approximately 20 months to complete, filming from late September 2020 to September 2021, with post-production pushing its release to May 2022. Factors like the pandemic and the show’s ambitious nature suggest an even longer wait for season five.

Considering these elements, a September or October 2025 release might be optimistic.

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

Accounting for the recent strike and the show’s anticipated grandeur, a more realistic target could be early 2026, aligning with Forbes‘ assessment as the furthest projected date for season five’s release, especially given the confirmed delay that pushes filming into 2025.

Now, we have further reason to believe that a 2026 release is plausible.

Stranger Things account Ris on X shared the famous season 4 scene starring Eddie Munson’s tragic death scene, noting that that small scene took a whopping 5 months to edit.

This scene alone took 5 MONTHS to edit.

Yeah, we’re def not getting that finale until late 2025 at the earliest.

Idk what kind of a boom boom 💥 are they planning to do in s5, but I would guess it’s going to be big.

Knowing that just one scene can take that long to perfect likely means that the editing team on Stranger Things will have a lot of work to do before the show can make a Netflix debut. This season will have a lot of special effects with the Upside Down now merged with Hawkins, so it would not be shocking to hear of a 2026 release. 

Netflix will have to have a strong show to debut in 2025, however, if they do choose to forgo Stranger Things.

This year, we have Bridgerton season 3 and Squid Game season 2 satisfying subscribers, and next year, it is likely that Wednesday season 2 might be the show to save Netflix from a boring year. Wednesday is currently filming in Ireland and will wrap by the end of this year, making it a stronger contender for a 2025 release.

Would you be upset if Stranger Things did not release until 2026? 

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