After all the excitement of season 4, there might not be much of a status quo for Stranger Things to return to in its final season. And indeed, the Duffer brothers (Ross and Matt) have promised that season 5 will get straight to business.
“There’s a lot of build-up and set-up [each season], and 5 is just going to be pedal to the metal from the opening scene,” Ross told The Wrap ahead of season 4’s premiere. “At least that’s what I remember from the outline.”
What will Stranger Things 5 be about?
After a deadly showdown in the finale of Stranger Things 4 part 2, the scene is set for a climactic new season of the show. While the Duffers have been tight-lipped about where, exactly, that cliffhanger leaves us, they have said one thing for sure.
“I’m sure we will do a time jump,” Ross Duffer told TVLine in June, noting the fact that the young stars are aging rapidly. “Ideally, we’d have shot [seasons 4 and 5] back to back, but there was just no feasible way to do that. So these are all discussions we’re going to have with our writers when we start the room up.”
One can guess that Hawkins, Indiana — nay, the world — will once again be in peril thanks to Upside Down monsters. But in an interview with Variety, the Duffer brothers said the world of the Upside Down would be more explored in the fifth outing of Stranger Things.
“A lot of those answers for the Upside Down is really what the basis of season 5 is about,” Ross said.
Though they couldn’t elaborate, the Duffers once again alluded to how the final season will follow the blueprint of George Lucas, the same way the fourth season was inspired by The Empire Strikes Back.
“The final few is going to be more like a Return of the Jedi in that […] not tonally, but just in terms of […] they’re going from the beginning. There’s going to be less ramp up,” Matt told The Wrap. “And I think people will understand what I’m talking about when they see the end of this season. It’s like, we’re just going.”
Is Stranger Things 5 the final season?
Yes — for the original series, at least. Netflix and the Duffers have announced that season 5 will be the final chapter of the show. But they’ve also said they are open to spinoffs — and even have some ideas for them that Netflix doesn’t know, with Matt Duffer telling SFX Magazine:
“We haven’t told anyone our plans, not even Netflix! […] We have some ideas. In terms of if we were to do any sort of spinoff, or any continuation of Stranger Things, for us the bar was always ‘Is the idea exciting enough that we feel the pull of wanting to do it again?’”
Since they’re pretty clear about wanting to “feel the pull of ‘God I really want to do this’” and make sure that any new story set in the Stranger Things world isn’t just “retreading” where they’ve been when they pick their next project, it’s possible the spinoff just might not happen. Then again, Netflix is eager to pick up a sure thing, especially if it’s a spinoff of a wildly popular hit for the streaming service.
When will Stranger Things 5 start shooting?
Considering the long haul on the lengthy season 4, it might be a second. Shooting for season 4 wrapped in fall 2021, and it wasn’t released until spring. While some of that was due to coronavirus delays, the sure-to-be effects-heavy final season will no doubt take some time to produce as well. As of now, neither Duffer brother can commit to when the show will even go back into production.
“I’m not sure we’re ready to say yet a start date for shooting,” Matt Duffer said to TVLine in June 2022. “But a lot of it is pretty well mapped out.”
“The ending is the hard thing,” he added. “That’s obviously the stressful thing. We really want to stick the landing.”
What do we know about the end of Stranger Things 5?
Only that the Duffer brothers know what it is (probably). “We know what the ending is,” Matt Duffer said to SFX. “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. And it also feels sort of inevitable. Then when you come up with it, you’re like, ‘Oh yeah well, that is absolutely what it has to be.’”
In the same interview, the Duffers also said they spoke with Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul creator Vince Gilligan for advice about their envisioned ending. As a result, Matt Duffer says the ending is “more interesting and exciting than originally envisioned by me and Ross.”