Netflix is preparing for one last trip to The Upside Down with Stranger Things season five set to mark an unforgettable finale to the much-loved sci-fi series. The Duffer Brothers’ captivating horror and ’80s nostalgia fest has been going strong since its debut in 2016 on the streaming service, however, the duo confirmed via a heartfelt letter that the upcoming season will be a wrap for Eleven and the gang. Although the plan was to commence production in early June, the ongoing WGA strike has delayed filming, with many fans left when is Stranger Things season five coming out?
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As for where we left off in Stranger Things season four, Vecna (played by Jamie Campbell Bower) had brought the Upside Down to Hawkins, causing a big mess with a giant fissure tearing through the town and that creepy red Upside Down vibe spreading. Luckily, the gang had reunited in Hawkins after a while. However, the looming question remains: Can they stop Vecna from taking over the world? As Stranger Things readies for its grand season five finale, we’re here to spill the beans on everything known so far. From potential release date to plot details, cast updates, and more, we’ve got you covered.
Stranger Things Season 5 Release Date
If you’ve been asking ‘is Stranger Things over?’, the answer is no, however, given the current landscape, the release of Stranger Things season five is facing some uncertainty. The ongoing strikes involving writers and actors have significantly disrupted the progress of various projects, including the highly anticipated Stranger Things season five. On a positive note, the writing process for the new season is in progress, as officially indicated by the writers’ room’s “day one” announcement in August last year. However, production cameras have yet to start rolling for the new season.
“Writing does not stop when filming begins. While we’re excited to start production with our amazing cast and crew, it is not possible during this strike,” The Duffer Brothers wrote. “We hope a fair deal is reached soon so we can all get back to work. Until then – over and out.”
Considering the usual production timeline, each season of Stranger Things takes well over a year to bring from inception to completion. With the ongoing strike further complicating matters, Stranger Things season five is unlikely to make its debut until at least some time in 2025. We’re still in the dark about how many episodes season five will have, but Netflix gave us a little teaser last November when they spilled the beans on the title of the first season five episode, dubbed, ‘The Crawl.’
When discussing the season’s length on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Matt Duffer hinted that season five won’t be as big as season four. He said, “The only reason we don’t expect to be as long is, this season, if you look at it, it’s almost a two-hour ramp up before our kids really get drawn into a supernatural mystery. You get to know them, you get to see them in their lives, they’re struggling with adapting to high school and so forth, Steve’s trying to find a date, all of that. None of that is obviously going to be occurring (in season five).”
Stranger Things Season 5 Cast
While season four bid farewell to some characters we’d rather have seen stick around, the surviving central cast is set to return for Stranger Things season five. This includes Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, and other familiar faces like Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Gaten Matarazzo, Maya Hawke, Joe Keery, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Brett Gelman, David Harbour, and Winona Ryder. Despite Vecna’s apparent defeat in the season four finale, his return is also anticipated. Excitingly, we also have a new addition to the cast, with Linda Hamilton joining the cast as a newcomer, as officially announced at a TUDUM fan event.
One character whose fate remains uncertain is Sadie Sink’s Max, who is currently in a coma, making it unsure if she will ever awaken. However, it’s a safe bet to expect her to return in some capacity for season five.
In a conversation with Deadline, Sink said, “They’ve been very secretive about season five in general. We did have a conversation. They called me before I read the ninth episode because in the script it literally says that Max dies. So they called me beforehand and were like, ‘just warning you, this is in there, so you’re not like truly shocked.’ I have no idea what’s coming in five and what that looks like. Max’s storyline is very up in the air, ’cause obviously she’s in a coma and Eleven can’t find her in the void. So who knows where she is and what state she’s in.”
Here’s the anticipated returning cast for Stranger Things season five:
- Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven/Jane Hopper
- Noah Schnapp as Will Byers
- Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler
- Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers
- David Harbour as Jim Hopper
- Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson
- Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair
- Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield
- Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler
- Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers
- Joe Keery as Steve Harrington
- Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley
- Brett Gelman as Murray Bauman
- Priah Ferguson as Erica Sinclair
- Paul Reiser as Dr. Sam Owens
- Jamie Campbell Bower as Peter Ballard/Henry Creel/One/Vecna
- Cara Buono as Karen Wheeler
- Eduardo Franco as Argyle
- Gabriella Pizzolo as Susie
Stranger Things Season 5 Plot
As the Duffer Brothers and their team continue to write and develop the plot for Stranger Things season five, specific details about the storyline remain under wraps. However, it’s expected to bring significant revelations and twists. The Duffer Brothers have hinted at what’s to come and have stated that they have a clear vision for how the series will conclude.
According to Matt Duffer in an interview with SFX, “We know what the ending is. It’s conceivable that it changes but I think it’s unlikely because it’s one of those endings that just feels, and has always felt, right. It also feels sort of inevitable. Then when you come up with it, you’re like, ‘Oh yeah well, that is absolutely what is has to be.'”
Variety reported that Will’s journey will be a major focus in the final season. In the season four finale, while the gang defeats Vecna, Will’s revelation that Vecna isn’t dead adds an unexpected twist. Furthermore, Vecna’s actions have opened four gates to the Upside Down, causing a massive crack and allowing the Upside Down to pour into Hawkins.
Season five is shaping up to be the most emotional one yet. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the Stranger Things creators revealed that they brought Netflix executives to tears with the first script. Matt jokingly said, “We did get our executives to cry, which I felt was a good sign that these executives were crying. The only other times I’ve seen them cry were like budget meetings.”
They also hinted on the Happy Sad Confused podcast that characters will be driven by clear goals, promising a season with a unique and emotional depth. Additionally, on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, they hinted at the season’s emotional depth, mentioning that characters will be driven by clear goals.
“Characters are already going to be in action, they’re already going to have a goal and a drive, and I think that’s going to carve out at least a couple hours and make this season feel really different,” said the series’ creators.
What Will Season 5 of Stranger Things Be About?
As Stranger Things season five continues to take shape, many details about the upcoming storyline remain scarce. However, it’s likely that the season will centre around the final adventure of the Hawkins gang as they join forces to put an end to Vecna once and for all.
During their discussions with TV Line, the Duffer Brothers shared their plans for a time jump in the upcoming season. Furthermore, when speaking with Collider, the duo stated that season five will primarily be centred in the familiar settings of Hawkins and the mysterious Upside Down, without the narrative shifts to Russia, California, or Indiana. The brothers have also revealed that their main goal for season five is to break down the mythology of the Upside Down and finally provide answers to questions that have intrigued fans since season one.
In the epic season four finale, a whirlwind of events unfolds, setting the stage for an all-out showdown in season five. The climactic showdown sees Eleven and Vecna finally duke it out within Max’s psyche. Vecna gains the upper hand, temporarily restraining Eleven, allowing him to initiate a gruesome, bone-cracking, eye-bleeding ritual that inflicts excruciating harm upon Max’s mental projection.
Despite the grim situation, Eleven manages to muster up her strength, pushing Vecna out of Max’s mind and freeing her in the real world. However, Eleven’s brief incapacitation inadvertently triggers the opening of Vecna’s massive Upside Down gateway, plunging Hawkins into chaos. The episode concludes with Eleven reuniting with Hopper, bringing a sense of closure to Stranger Things 4. However, just as it appears the story is wrapping up, a chilling twist unfolds when Will begins experiencing the familiar Mind Flayer sensations in his neck, rekindling his connections to the Upside Down.
As Will reveals towards the end of episode nine to Mike, “Now that I’m back, in Hawkins, I can feel him. And he’s hurt, he’s hurting, but he’s still alive. It’s strange knowing now who it was this whole time. But I can still remember what he thinks, and how he thinks. He’s not gonna stop, ever, not until he’s taken everything… everyone… We have to kill him.”
The showrunners have shared some exciting insights about Season 5 in the past, particularly highlighting Will’s central role in the upcoming episodes. Matt elaborated on this, saying, “We’re starting to see his coming of age, really, which has been challenging for a number of reasons; some of which are supernatural. But you’re starting to see him come into his own.”
To which, Ross went on to add, “I think you’ll see that with a couple of the character arcs, not just with Will. But also with Steve and Nancy, and her relationship with Jonathan, where things are not fully resolved. The characters have maybe made steps, like in the case of Will, but that journey isn’t over yet. All of that is going to play a huge role as we try to wrap this thing up next season.”
Where to Watch Stranger Things?
Looking to plunge back into the supernatural world of Stranger Things? Well, Netflix Australia has all the seasons of Stranger Things lined up and ready for your next binge-watching session.
Stranger Things Season 5 FAQs
There will be a season five of ‘Stranger Things’, both series creators, the Duffers, and distribution platform, Netflix have confirmed. The fifth instalment in the sci-fi series will be the final, putting an end to the long-running franchise.
There are currently four seasons of ‘Stranger Things’ that have been released to the public. The cast and crew of the hit Netflix series are in pre-production for season five, however, the ongoing WGA strike has delayed the process
With the ongoing WGA strike delaying the production timeline for ‘Stranger Things’ season five, no official release date has been confirmed. That being said, it is unlikely that the series will premiere until sometime in 2025, due to the lengthy post-production process.