(Credit: Netflix)

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'Stranger Things' season 4: Everything we know so far

There is the ultimate reason for you to get excited again: the hugely popular television series Stranger Things is finally coming back for a fourth season. The shooting was halted in March 2020 due to the pandemic restrictions before filming then resumed in mid-September 2020 which led to an unprecedented delay in release.

Fans were pretty pumped after Netflix’sreassurance via a press release: “We’re excited to officially confirm that production on Stranger Things four 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.”

Created by the Duffer Brothers, Stranger Things is a nostalgic ode to the 1980s weaved within a Stephen King-like premise that abounds in sci-fi elements, monsters, interdimensional time travel and unusually brave and mature kids on bicycles. The show has a wide variety of characters with their individual quirks and charms who have become favourites among the masses.

The upcoming season of Stranger Things is admittedly quite “dark” according to multiple cast members and the producer, Shawn Levy himself. The cast and crew of Stranger Things have continuously teased fans with updates from the sets of the fourth season.

Right before the release of the upcoming fourth season of Stranger Things, here is everything we know:

When will Stranger Things season four be released on Netflix?

After ending the third season on a cliffhanger in 2019 the wait for the fourth season has been excruciatingly long. With various speculations regarding the release date, the showrunners finally put the fans’ worries at rest by announcing the release dates.

The fourth season of Stranger Things will be divided into two volumes. The first volume is scheduled to release on May 27th, 2022, while the second volume will debut a few weeks later, on July 1st, 2022.

After announcing the release dates, the Duffer brothers said, “With nine scripts, over eight-hundred pages, almost two years of filming, thousands of visual effects shots, and a runtime nearly twice the length of any previous season, Stranger Things 4 was the most challenging season yet, but also the most rewarding one.”

Talking about how “it’s also the beginning of the end”, they said, “Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for Stranger Things. 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 towards our finale. Season 4 will be the penultimate season; season 5 will be the last.”

What is the cast for Stranger Things season four?

In November 2021, David Harbour, who plays Jim Hopper, shared pictures from the sets of the show. Season three had ended on an ambiguous note with Hopper presumably dead. However, a recent teaser titled ‘From Russia, With Love’ showed that Hopper is alive and kicking- in Russia- waiting to go back to his family in Hawkins. 

The majority of the main cast will be making a return. So Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), David Harbour (Jim Hopper), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield), Maya Hawke (Robin) and Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers) will all be seen reprising the role.

Some of the new cast members who have been added to the fourth season include Amybeth McNulty as Vickie, Myles Truitt as Patrick, Regina Ting Chen as Ms. Kelly and Grace Van Dien as Chrissy.

Where was Stranger Things season four filmed?

Filming took place predominantly in Rome, Georgia. The series has also been filmed in Vilnius, Lithuania, in locations across the country as well as the former century-old Lukiškes prison.

Continuing the expansion of the storyline, the cast and crew have also travelled to New Mexico to shoot a considerable portion of season four, according to Deadline. The specifics in terms of the plot beyond Atlanta remain under wraps.

However, the coronavirus pandemic caused filming in Atlanta to come to a halt in March 2020 before resuming in September, adhering to all Covid-19 guidelines.

Take a look at some first look photos from the sets:

(Credit: Netflix)
(Credit: Netflix)
(Credit: Netflix)

What will happen in Stranger Things season four?

Taking Hopper to Russia should be a great jumping-off point for more adventures in this fictional universe. There have been many fan theories that suggest some pretty big ideas about the next edition of the show, hinting that a huge nuclear disaster is set to be at the forefront of the plot. The theory comes from the fact that season three drew to a close in October 1985, just six months before the April disaster in the following year. It also links together with the Russian spies introduced in the most recent season, with the new theory believing that the disaster could even be fabricated in an attempt to cover up a battle between Eleven and the spies.

Clues pointing to some of the topics in the upcoming season could be contained in titles for some of the episodes. The episode titles for season four are: ‘The Hellfire Club’, ‘Vecna’s Curse’, ‘The Monster and The Superhero’, ‘Dear Billy’, ‘The Nina Project’, ‘The Dive’, ‘The Massacre At Hawkins Lab’, ‘Papa’, and ‘The Piggyback’.

The show has released some teaser trailers that hint at various possibilities.

In one of the teasers ‘From Russia, With Love’, it is predicted that the character of Jim Hopper will now be seen in Russia- after his alleged demise- a long way from his home in Hawkins.  Hopper also promised “never before seen” action and gushed over the storyline for his character.

The other teaser, ‘Welcome to California’, contains a flurry of images. It starts off with certain scenes from previous seasons before including ones from the upcoming season. Eleven can be seen withheld by men clad in black suits, Jim Hopper is seen with a flamethrower, the Hawkins gang is seen venturing into the unknown holding flashlights and cycling through the darkness.

Will season four of Stranger Things be the last season?

Nope, the Duffer Brothers have said that Stranger Things is likely to end after its fifth season In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in August, the showrunners also signalled they know when the series will finish up.

“Season four won’t be the end. We know what the end is, and we know when it is,” Ross Duffer said. “[The pandemic] has given us time to look ahead, figure out what is best for the show. Starting to fill that out gave us a better idea of how long we need to tell that story.”

However, season five will bring the show to an end, marking the conclusion to this epic sci-fi saga. Talking about how they “wanted to only tell as much story as the brothers saw and feel clarity with”, producer Shawn Levy said that they were aware of where they were headed and how to bring an end to this “arc”.

He explained, “We wouldn’t want to stick around for one moment beyond that vision and the clarity of that voice.”