With such a long gap between Stranger Things season 3 and Stranger Things season 4, it may be hard for the Netflix series to deliver on people’s expectations. However, according to cast member Natalia Dyer, that’s exactly what they’re going to do.
Stranger Things season 4 has been one of the most highly anticipated seasons of the immensely popular show yet, thanks in large part to a season 3 cliffhanger that left the fate of everyone’s favorite hungover Sheriff, Jim Hopper, in question. However, thanks to the show’s slow shoot schedule as well as the COVID-19 pandemic waylaying most TV shoots last year, fans have been left twiddling their thumbs.
However, speaking in an interview with W Magazine earlier this month, Dyer said that she believes Stranger Things season 4 will not only be the best one yet, but it will explore a “bigger” and “darker” tone now that the cast members are pretty much all grown up.
It would make sense for the Stranger Things season 4 to acknowledge that what started as a show about precocious young nerds going on the high-stakes adventure of a lifetime, will now have seen the cast age more than six years since the first season dropped in 2016. When it comes to preteens, that six years is often when mother nature whacks human beings with the grown-up stick. So, emulating E.T. isn’t going to cut it as much as, perhaps, emulating A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Dyer’s comments echo those made by her co-star, Gaten Matarazzo, who spoke with Entertainment Tonight and noted that Stranger Things season 4 will definitely be the most “mature” of the bunch. In fact, it may be the beginning of the end. Speaking to Collider, executive producer Shawn Levy noted that he and the Duffer brothers never intended the show to be something that could go on ad infinitum. There is a clear endgame in mind and they have been working towards it since season 1. While he could neither confirm nor deny this, it has been implied by the creators in subsequent interviews that the show will not go beyond season 5.
However, as with all things in Hollywood, particularly Netflix, success will be the best marker to determine how much further a franchise can be pushed. Stranger Things season 4 may be such a revamp of the series that audiences look at it as a repiloting, prompting even more episodes or spinoffs. On the other hand, they may be just as ready as the creators to bring this train into the station with nothing but perfection at their backs.
Regardless of future intention, Stranger Things season 4 has a lot of work to do thanks to the way season 3 ended. When last we left our intrepid heroes, Will and his mom were moving away from Hawkins, Indiana with Eleven, breaking the gang up. If that wasn’t bad enough, Jonathan was going with him, meaning he and Nancy are either done or long-distance lovers. Finally, the biggest cliffhanger of them all saw Hopper apparently die at the Hawkins military lab. However, a mid-credits scene implied that he was alive as a captive in Russia, a detail that was seemingly confirmed by a teaser trailer for Stranger Things season 4.