(Pocket-lint) - Stranger Things are still happening. The fourth season of Netflix's hit sci-fi series is getting closer to a release - and there's not too long to wait, as the show will begin to air in May 2022.
The third season left quite a few hanging questions about the future of the series, but Netflix has given us several hints about the upcoming season in the form of teaser trailers and casting announcements, which we'll dig into below.
Stranger Things season 4: Release date
While the release of teaser trailers throughout 2021 had made fans hope that season would arrive soon, there's been a little bit of a wait. But it's now official that Stranger Things 4 will release in two parts: the first sections on 27 May; the second lot some five weeks later, on 1 July 2022. Hurrah!
uoos noʎ ǝǝs pic.twitter.com/pJ71dRgmo1— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) February 17, 2022
It's also confirmed, as per the Tweet embedded above by the show's producers, Matt and Ross (Duffer), it will be the penultimate season. The fifth and final season will bring Stranger Things to a close, presumably in 2023 or, who knows, perhaps even later.
The same Tweet spells out why Stranger Things 4 is split into two component parts. The runtime is significant, at almost double the length of the previous season. However, it's not clear if this means more runtime per episode (which was originally slated for nine) or simply far more episodes within this season overall.
Stranger Things season 4: How to watch
You can watch the next season of Stranger Things or catch up on all the older seasons via Netflix. It is a Netflix Original title, after all.
Stranger Things season 4: Rumours and news
Here's everything we know so far about season four:
The ending of season three saw David Harbour's Hopper sacrifice himself to close the portal to the Upside Down beneath the town of Hawkins, but a post-credit scene left hope that Hopper is still alive. We see a prison in Russia that contains an unseen person, who Russian guards refer to as "the American", before feeding a different prisoner to a Demogorgon. Everyone hoped that American is Hopper, who entered the Upside Down dimension to avoid dying.
Well, we found out he is the American in question, thanks to a teaser trailer for season four, which is called "From Russia With Love" (embedded above). We can also guess that Hopper's time as a prisoner will be featured heavily in the next season, thanks to the casting of a Russian guard and a Russian smuggler for the new season.
Mathew Modine returning
Another teaser for season four, called "Eleven, are you Listening" - also embedded above - showed the return of one of the series' first villains: Mathew Modine's Dr Martin Brenner. He's seen walking into the Rainbow room to a group of children who call him Papa. The teaser seems to be a flashback to Brenner's time raising Eleven in captivity alongside other gifted children. The last time we saw Brenner alive was when he was face to face with the Demogorgon in season one.
That encounter left us assuming he's dead. In the second season, Eleven meets up with Kali (Linnea Berthelsen) - another child with powers who was kept at the Hawkins facility by Brenner - who is out for vengeance. Together, they track down another former employee from the facility who reveals Brenner is alive.
Not in Hawkins anymore
The first three seasons of Stranger Things were set entirely in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, but the upcoming season is set to see the story expand outside of the small-town setting. We know that part of season four will take place in Russia - where Hopper is being held by Russian forces. New casting information also confirms the Russian setting, with Tom Wlaschiha playing a Russian guard named Dmitri and Nikola Duricko playing a smuggler named Yuri.
In addition to the Russian setting, the conclusion of season three saw Joyce Byers (Wynona Ryder) adopt Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and move out of Hawkins with her son Will (Noah Schnapp). We didn't know where until the November 2021 trailer dropped, showing off a Californian setting, further removing the season from Hawkins. "We're not in Hawkins anymore", from the first trailer, was certainly no lie.
Freddy Krueger actor added to the cast
Stranger Things loves paying homage to the 80s films that inspire it, and it seems to be doing that again - with the casting of Robert Englund, who was famous for starring in The Nightmare on Elm Street films as the disfigured serial killer Freddy Krueger.
Englund will play Victor Creel, a man who's been imprisoned in a mental institution for a violent murder that happened in the 1950s. The late September 2021 trailer, "The Creel House", presents that past - and how it intersects time with our favourite cast members of the present day. This could be a significant part of the setting outside of Hawkins.
The first three seasons of Stranger Things were a year apart. Season one was set in 1983, season two in 1984, and season three in 1985. Following that, it'd make sense for season four to take place in 1986, but based on all the chatter about "the best Spring Break ever" in the California trailer, we get the feeling that the timeline has shifted a little further forward.
This makes sense, of course, as some of the actors - who were children when the series began - are a little older now, which shows on screen. Still, don't expect it to jump too far ahead; the nostalgic 80s vibe is a huge part of the show's success.
Stranger Things season 4: About those trailers
An interesting note about the Stranger Things key teasers - all of which are posted above - is the way that they're numbered. In 2019, Netflix revealed the first official announcement. Since then it's released four more teaser trailers plus a sneak peek (embedded above).
You'll notice the description in the YouTube link for the first teaser, From Russia with Love, has 001/004 in the description for the video. The second teaser similarly has 002/004, and so on. While we were looking out for any clues as to what this could mean, it doesn't seem to represent anything particularly poignant - especially now the release dates are known.
The full trailer, which you can see below, is more normal - in as far as anything to do with Stranger Things is normal. It shows a series of clips and sequences that hint towards a more action-oriented series. The horror seems to be ramped up a notch too, with a reveal of what looks like the main monster at the end.
Stranger Things season 4: Cast and crew
The fourth season of Stranger Things will see Matt and Ross Duffer back as writers and directors. The pair are responsible for the previous three seasons of Stranger Things. In addition to the Duffer brothers, all of the main characters from the first three seasons of Stranger Things are expected to return.
- Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven
- Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler
- Noah Schnapp as Will Byer
- Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson
- Caleb McLuaghlin as Lucas Sinclair
- Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler
- David Harbour as Jim Hopper
- Sadie Sink as Max
- Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byer
- Joe Keery as Steve Harrington
- Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers
- Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley
- Brett Gelman as Murray
Netflix has also revealed a set of new castings for the fourth season, here's a rundown of those so far:
- Robert Englund as Victor Creel, a man imprisoned in a mental institution for murder
- Tom Wlaschiha as Dimitri, a Russian guard who befriends Hopper
- Nikola Djuricko as Yuri, a Russian smuggler
- Jamie Campbell Bower as Peter Ballard, an orderly at a mental institution
- Eduardo Franco as Argyle, a stoner and pizza delivery boy
- Joseph Quinn as Eddie Munson, a metalhead who also is the president of Hawkins High's Dungeons and Dragons club known as the Hellfire club.
- Sherman Augustus as Lt Colonel Sullivan, an intelligent military man
- Mason Dye as Jason Carver, a rich and famous athlete
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