All good things must come to an end—even Stranger Things. The hit Netflix sci-fi thriller, which first arrived in the summer of 2016, will conclude with its fifth season, which has no release date yet. The show’s creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, announced the news with a bittersweet letter to fans on Feb. 17.
“Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for Stranger Things,” they wrote. “At the time, we predicted the story would last four to five seasons. It proved too large to tell in four, but—as you’ll soon see for yourselves—we are now hurtling toward our finale. Season 4 will be the penultimate season; season 5 will be the last.”
With Stranger Things‘ season 4 now in the books (with quite the jam-packed finale), the wait for the next and final chapter is on. Here’s what we know so far.
When will Stranger Things 5 be released?
It’s too early to say right now, but we can look to past seasons for reference. As the Duffers say in their letter, it took almost two years to film the fourth season, which was released in two parts, on May 27 and July 1. While filming ST4 during the height of the pandemic and lockdown surely involved its own delays, producing a massive finale season will likely require a long wait too.
What will the final season be about?
How do you sum up this epic story that transcends dimensions and stretches far beyond the borders of Hawkins, Indiana? The Duffers have a plan; we’re just not privy to it yet.
“There are still many more exciting stories to tell within the world of Stranger Things; new mysteries, new adventures, new unexpected heroes,” they added in their letter—perhaps opening the door to potential spinoffs in the future. “But first we hope that you stay with us as we finish this tale of a powerful girl named Eleven and her brave friends, of a broken police chief and a ferocious mom, of a small town called Hawkins and an alternate dimension called the Upside Down. As always, we are gracious for your patience and your support.”
Apparently, the showrunning duo isn’t planning to “reset” the story going into season 5. Matt Duffer told Empire, “Usually at the end of a season, we tie things up with a nice bow, before a little tease that says, ‘Hold on, something is unraveling.’ As we move into season 5, we won’t have to do that. There won’t be a reset from where we finish this season [season 4].” With season 4 ending on a cliffhanger, it’ll be interesting to see where the next chapter dives in.
When will season 5 be set?
Probably not immediately after the events in season 4, if that’s what you’re expecting. Ross Duffer told TVLine, “I’m sure we will do a time jump.” Which makes sense, given how quickly our lead actors are growing up. (Millie Bobby Brown is 18 already, can you believe it?!) “Ideally, we’d have shot [seasons 4 and 5] back to back,” Ross added, “but there was just no feasible way to do that.”
He continued that “these are all discussions we’re going to have with our writers when we start the room up,” meaning the season was not yet completely written by the time of the June 7 interview. The wait is on!
Will there be a Stranger Things spin-off?
Yes, we just don’t know what it will be about yet. (Though Finn Wolfhard has already figured it out.)
“There’s a version of it developing in parallel [to season 5], but they would never shoot it parallel,” Ross Duffer told Variety. “I think actually we’re going to start delving into that soon as we’re winding down and finishing these visual effects, Matt and I are going to start getting into it.”
Matt Duffer added, “It’s going to be different than what anyone is expecting, including Netflix.”
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