Stranger Things and Cobra Kai are two of Netflix's biggest IP's and both are shut down indefinitely because of the writers strike.
Netflix is always pumping out new shows and movies, but the Writer’s Guild of America strike has brought that pipeline to a halt. Even the streamer’s biggest hits, like Stranger Things and Cobra Kai, have completely shut down production on their upcoming seasons, according to Deadline. With no announced plans to return, it seems likely both shows won’t start up again until the strike is over.
It certainly makes sense that Netflix shows are being held up by the WGA strike, considering streaming was a major point of contention in negotiations between the WGA and the studios represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Streaming compensation and residuals were among the key points that the two parties couldn’t reach an agreement on. Other key points included health plan increases, AI regulation, and more.
Netflix also can’t really afford to lose the subscriber bumps it gets from shows like Stranger Things. The company was having a pretty rough year until the fourth season of the hit show brought viewers back in droves last year. It’s not good news for a streamer that is cracking down on password sharing, increasing prices, and taking other measures that seem to only anger customers.
Presumably, the scripts for Netflix’s Stranger Things Season 5 are already written, but the WGA strike rules don’t allow for writing on set or doing rewrites, so the Duffer Brothers would likely be hindered in that respect. Plus, many creators are striking out of solidarity with the writers, whether they would be able to continue production or not. While the show was gearing up to film episodes, there’s no telling how long it might be delayed now.
Stranger Things and Cobra Kai are far from the only shows shutting down in the wake of the strike, as many non-Netflix series are hunkering down as well. Some of the other shows that are delaying production include P-Valley, Daredevil: Born Again, Billions, Severance, Hacks, Yellowjackets, and the Game of Thrones spin-off A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight. All of these will likely be delayed until the strike is called off, and there are sure to be more projects to come.
For now, Netflix will have to stick to its licensed content and the content that it already has in the pipeline. While this can likely sustain the streamer for a while, it will eventually need to get back to producing hits like Stranger Things. The solidarity of the WGA strike has major ripples, so it’s possible that there could be a resolution before these shows have to be pushed in a major way.
Netflix never announced an official release date for Stranger Things or Cobra Kai, so we likely won’t know just how far back these shows are getting pushed. Still, fans were expecting to get both shows by 2024 at the latest. If the WGA and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers can come to a resolution, 2024 is still possible, but it seems likely it will be later in the year at this point.