If we weren’t in the worst timeline, we’d be getting excited for the Stranger Things season 4 release date right now. In a world without the coronavirus, filming would have reportedly have finished in August 2020, with a launch date in early 2021 – in reality, we’re going to have to be much more patient as shooting on the next instalment of the hit horror show remains stalled.
That said, at least we know enough about Stranger Things season 4 to keep us going: we have an official trailer, released earlier this year, and we know the fate of Hopper (David Harbour) after the season 3 finale. We also know that season 4 won’t be the last, but the show’s conclusion has been planned out. But what else can we expect from Stranger Things season 4? The overall story is kept under lock and key, of course, but the scripts are confirmed to be finished already.
Here’s everything we know about Stranger Things season 4 on Netflix so far, including its likely release date, production updates, and more.
Spoilers for the first three seasons of Stranger Things follow.
Stranger Things season 4 trailer: Hopper is alive!
A welcome gift on Valentine’s Day? Stranger Things have happened. pic.twitter.com/6bUFvnyrjYFebruary 14, 2020
There is one Stranger Things season 4 trailer so far, and you can watch it above. It’s just a teaser, but it’s our only glimpse of the next season right now.
At the end of Stranger Things season 3, when Russian soldiers said “the American” should not be the victim fed to a captive Demogorgon in a mid-credits teaser, fans knew who they were referring to. It could only be one man: Jim Hopper (David Harbour). This trailer confirmed that theory.
Along with the Stranger Things season 4 trailer above, which sheds light on where Hopper ended up after the ending of the last season, show creators the Duffer brothers issued a statement on what’s happened to the character back in February 2020.
The Duffer brothers said they were “excited to officially confirm that production on Stranger Things 4 is now underway – and even more excited to announce the return of Hopper!”
“Although it’s not all good news for our ‘American’; he is imprisoned far from home in the snowy wasteland of Kamchatka, where he will face dangers both human…and other. Meanwhile, back in the States, a new horror is beginning to surface, something long buried, something that connects everything…
“Season 4 is shaping up to be the biggest and most frightening season yet, and we cannot wait for everyone to see more. In the meantime – pray for the American.”
All indications are that season 4 is going to get even darker. Joe Keery, who plays Steve Harington, claims this season is the “scariest yet” to Total Film, and David Harbour (Hopper) said to Deadline that while his character was cheerier earlier in the show’s run, his journey this season will be “painted in a bit of a darker palette.”
Stranger Things season 4 release date
Stranger Things 4: the complete season. #ST4 pic.twitter.com/DAjQFnPVGqJune 18, 2020
The Stranger Things season 4 release date hasn’t been revealed yet. Netflix tends to angle its release date around public holidays such as Halloween for season 2, or the 4th of July for season 3 – depending on the time of year within Stranger Things itself. If things were normal season 4 may have been ready for early 2021: a report from What’s on Netflix suggests that filming would have likely finished in August before post-production was due to start.
But in reality, while the script is complete – as you can see in the tweet above – production began in March 2020, and is now at a standstill due to the coronavirus. According to THR, however, production on Stranger Things season 4 may return on September 17, 2020. Sources claim that, as the cast were told in a letter, that Netflix is considering restarting work in Georgia. There tends to be 1-2 years lead time between each season, so an early to mid-2021 date seems likely.
While we’re still waiting on news of production returning to normal, Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) gave us an update on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (via Entertainment Weekly): “[The crew] already shot two weeks in Lithuania… We were just about to get into it, but for everyone’s safety and well-being and health, obviously, production stopped,” Brown said. “But we’re ready to get back to work as soon as this is all over.”
hop told us to leave the door open 3 inches…you’re welcome pic.twitter.com/hfeprJIXpFMarch 3, 2020
So a Spring season will likely be the best case scenario – that is, if current plot threads end up leading the show’s story to the Chernobyl disaster, which occurred April 26, 1986, which isn’t long after the 1985 setting of Season 3. (Yes, this theory is from Reddit, but it’s pretty legit, okay?)
But while season 4 won’t be the final one, the Stranger Things ending is planned. “Season 4 won’t be the end,” Ross Duffer told THR, “We know what the end is, and we know when it is.” Duffer also went on to explain how the pandemic has given the team extra time to map out the show’s conclusion and finish the script. But, in other words, Stranger Things season 5 is almost definitely happening.
Stranger Things Season 4 cast: who’s returning?
Despite the fact that Stranger Things has now been officially renewed, there are no official casting announcements. However, you can be sure you’ll get a lot of the same faces as season 3 – including Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas), Sadie Sink (Max), and Joe Keery (Steve Harrington). And, of course, Hopper (David Harbour).
Maya Hawke (Robin), a newcomer for season 3, quickly became a fan favorite – and will almost certainly be a big presence – while Caleb’s younger sister Erica (played by Priah Ferguson) will likely continue to enjoy a larger role in the show.
Who won’t we be seeing? Spoilers ahead (obviously), but we don’t expect to see Dacre Montgomery (Billy) or Alec Utgoff (Alexei) again, though the showrunners could always surprise us. Heck, why not bring back Barb?
Hopper’s new situation means the cast is likely to expand. In Matt Duffer’s interview with Entertainment Weekly, he said: “I think the biggest thing that’s going to happen is it’s going to open up a little bit, not necessarily in terms of scale, in terms of special effects, but open up in terms of allowing plotlines into areas outside of Hawkins.”
Will Stranger Things season 4 be in 4K / HDR?
If you’re interested in Stranger Things’ good looks as well – as you should be – you may be wondering what video formats the next season will be filmed in.
All three seasons so far have been filmed in 4K Ultra HD resolution, meaning anyone with a 4K TV and a strong enough internet connection will be able to watch in a huge amount of detail. Seasons 2-3 are also in HDR (high dynamic range), meaning an expanded range of colors and enhanced contrast – important for a show awash with bright colors, dazzling neon, and moody skies – though again you’ll need an HDR-compatible screen to make the most of it.
Netflix also uses the Dolby Vision HDR format, rather than the competing HDR10+ standard – we know this is a lot to think about with your next TV, but some only support one format over the other.
Stranger Things season 4 is one of our most anticipated Netflix series
Stranger Things has kept finding ways to reinvent itself, with new spooky threats, changes in locations, popular new characters and intriguing relationship developments over the course of the series.
Taking Hopper to Russia should be a great jumping off point for more adventures in this fictional universe. We can’t wait to watch the show again.