Renewed for the fifth and, unfortunately, the last season, Stranger Things has left the viewers teary-eyed, owing to its riveting plotline and intriguing characters. The interminable wait for the fifth season seems to be going on much longer than we hoped because expecting a new season of Stranger Things in 2023 seems a bit far-fetched as of now.
However, on the brighter side of things, we wouldn’t have to stay perched on the edge of our seats for the fifth season as we did for the fourth. In a past interview with Variety, the Duffer Brothers confirmed that the wait for the fifth season would be shorter.
In season 4, we see Eleven, Will, Mike, Lucas, Dustin, Max, and the rest of the Hawkins coterie battling demogorgans, unraveling the mysteries of the Upside Down, combat the Russians and Mind Flayers at the Starcourt Mall, and attempting to defeat the alternate dimension’s latest villain, Vecna. What possible storylines the fifth season can possibly take?
Be that as it may, I think we can continue waiting one more year as the creators of the show provide crumbs of information related to the upcoming installment of supernatural horror fiction. But the wait can be extended indefinitely owing to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes which have shut down the production schedules of many popular shows, including Stranger Things season 5.
That being said, we have compiled here some of the latest crumbs of information released so far only for you.
Stranger Things Season 5 release date: The impact of WGA and SAG-AFTRA explained
According to a tweet from the Stranger Things writers’ account, the fifth season began its writing process on August 2, 2022.
— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) August 2, 2022
On August 25, the official Stranger Things writers’ room Twitter account updated regarding the production process. They shared a photo of a whiteboard which was divided into eight episodes and titled “Grid Stage.” In the photo, two lines separated 4 and 5, which led one user to question if this signifies a time jump in the season.
Grid stage pic.twitter.com/b8EmBsafUF
— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) August 25, 2022
The writers’ room replied, “Not a time jump. Does it mean anything?”Earlier, The Duffer Brothers had teased that there would be a time jump in the final season. But does it happen in the first episode itself? Well, that only time can tell.
Not a time jump. Does it mean anything? 🤔
— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) August 25, 2022
On November 7, 2022, which was touted as Stranger Things Day 2022, the season 5 episode 1 chapter name was revealed: “Chapter One: The Crawl.” Therefore, it seems that the final season of the show is still in the writing process.
Additionally, during the Middle East Film & Comic Con in Abu Dhabi, David Harbour disclosed that the final season would begin filming in June 2023. This is corroborated by the new production listings and casting grids, which also state that the filming will reportedly wrap up in June 2024. In a conversation with Collider, David revealed the production plans for Stranger Things season 5, saying,
“We’re walking into season five. I’ve got a couple more months to train. We start shooting that in June, though, and that will be the final season. I did a lot of training for season four. (Hopper) was in a very specific position, that Russian prison. It was about making him a different guy and sort of shedding a layer of himself physically, mentally, and emotionally. But now he’s back in town, he’s back in America where they have cheeseburgers, so he will be well-fed.”
Unfortunately, the ongoing writers’ strike at WGA has delayed the production process for the fifth season. The delay was confirmed by the Duffer Brothers through their Stranger Things writers’ Twitter account. If the strike continues till the end of summer, as they report, it will delay the production of Stranger Things season 5 by at least two months.
Duffers here. 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. We hope a fair deal is reached soon so we can all get back to work. Until then — over and out. #wgastrong
— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) May 6, 2023
Now that the WGA strike is scaffolded with the SAG-AFTRA, things seem to be even more complex than before. Earlier, it was just the writers; with the actors’ support, a fair deal has become a must.
Bearer of the MTV Award Win for Breakthrough Performance and the one who played everyone’s fan favorite Eddie Munson in the fourth season of the series, Joseph Quinn came out in support of the writers from the show. He said, “I don’t think that people would connect with a character like Eddie or others in the Stranger Things universe without compassionate, intelligent, quality writing.
Being a writer is a hard job. It deserves respect. If we respect each other, we can cultivate a kinder, more inclusive, more collaborative environment for everyone that’d be nice.”
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) May 8, 2023
Considering that we have passed June and officially entered July, with no word whatsoever on the production status of Stranger Things season 5, we suspect that the release schedule of the final season will be pushed even further.
When can we expect Stranger Things season 5 to arrive on Netflix?
Considering that the series’ writers have just begun writing, it is difficult to presume the release date of Stranger Things season 5. Owing to the pandemic, production delays extended the duration between seasons 3 and 4 to three years.
Although the pandemic does not reign this year, the strikes will invariably cause a delay. Consequently, we speculate that we won’t be able to stream Stranger Things season 5 on Netflix until 2025. Shows like these have longer post-production processes.
Speaking to GQ in a February 2023 interview, Finn Wolfhard teased that the fifth and final season of the sci-fi series won’t arrive on Netflix before 2025. The actor said, “I can’t believe it’s already season 5, I will be 22 by the time it comes out, I think, and I started working on the show at 12. That is insane. I’ll be able to drink with Gaten [Matarazzo], Caleb [McLaughlin] and Noah [Schnapp] and the whole cast at the premiere of Stranger Things 5. [You] couldn’t have said the same thing at the season 1 premiere, which blows my mind.”
Now, let’s do some math. Finn was born in December 2002, which means he is currently 20 years old. So, that means he will be 22 in 2025. This means that Stranger Things season 5 might potentially release at the end of 2025.
In addition to this, if you’re wondering whether Stranger Things will have a weekly release on Netflix. Fortunately, that’s not the case this time. On June 7, 2022, Peter Friedlander, Netflix’s head of scripted series for the U.S. and Canada, confirmed that the final season would be released all at once while speaking to Variety.
Based on the production listing, we know that the filming will continue in Atlanta, Georgia, as per the previous seasons. Additionally, Production Weekly also mentions that the production will take place at EUE/Screen Gems Studio Atlanta Studio, the studio which in use since Stranger Things season 1.
The working title of season 5 is reportedly “JERICHO.”
What can we expect to happen in Stranger Things season 5?
At the time of writing, we are quite uncertain about the tangent that season 5 will supposedly take. However, the Duffer Brothers have teased some plot points that we can expect in the upcoming season. In a conversation with SFX, Matt Duffer talked about the conclusion of the whole series. He said:
“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 it has to be.’”
In season 4, we see that every group in Nevada, Indiana, and Russia has unconsciously teamed up to defeat Vecna. It concludes with Robin, Steve, and Nancy conflagrating the defenseless physical form in the Upside Down. At the same time, Mike and Will try to dunk Eleven in a makeshift sensory deprivation tank, Will, towards the end of episode 9, realizes that Vecna is not defeated yet.
In conversation with Collider, the showrunners unraveled the “primary focus” of season 5: Will, as the final episodes “circle back to season one.” Matt said, “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.”
Speaking to E! News, executive producer Shawn Levy revealed that Stranger Things season 5 will certainly be “more Hawkins-centric.” He said, “Our ambitions remain pretty high, and the way the audience has grown along with the cinematic scope of the show, I don’t expect that we’re going to mess with that approach going into season five.”
Earlier, The Duffer Brothers, while speaking to TVLine, revealed the story arc that the final season would possibly map out. In the June interview, they unraveled that Hawkins High’s students will be a little older. Ross said, “I’m sure we will do a time jump.” While engaging with the Happy Sad Confused podcast in July 2022, the Duffers disclosed that episodes in the final season would be shorter in length than the ones constituted in season 4.
Matt said, “The only reason we don’t expect to be as long is because, typically — or 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 the first two episodes.”
He further added, “For the first time ever, we don’t wrap things up at the end of [season 4]. 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 of hours and make this season feel really different. I’m sure the wrap-up will be a lot longer.”
Maya Hawke, who reprises the role of Robin in the previous seasons, shares her thoughts on the plot details of the fifth and the final season, expecting for her character a “hero’s moment” while speaking to Rolling Stone. She said, “Well, it’s the last season, so people are probably going to die… I’d love to die with honor, as any actor would. But I love the way that the Duffer Brothers love their actors. The reason that they write so beautifully for me and for everyone else is that they fall in love with their actors and their characters, and they don’t want to kill them. I think that’s a beautiful quality that they have, and I wouldn’t wish it away.”
Speaking to Netflix Tudum, The Duffers expressed their astonishment over the success of Stranger Things. Ross said, “The success of Season 1 freaked us out and then we knew we needed to build up this bigger world, that this was going to be ongoing,”
He further added, “But it was way too much — [five times] more ideas than we needed, or [ten times]. For Season 5, we’re pulling from a lot of those big Season 2 ideas… A lot of our big ending stuff has pulled from stuff that we thought was going to be in Season 2.”
On a Twitter update made on March 21st, 2023, the official account of Stranger Things Writers revealed that “Season 5 is like if season 1 and 4 had a baby. And then that baby was injected with steroids.”
No matter what tangent that season 5 will elaborate upon, we can certainly know that Eddie’s death and Max’s coma will create long-lasting ripple effects, which will be explicated in depth in season 5.
Who are the expected cast members of Stranger Things season 5?
The following list includes all the expected cast members to return in Stranger Things season 5:
- Milly Bobby Brown as Eleven / Jane Hopper
- Jamie Campbell Bower as Peter / 001 / Henry / Vecna
- Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler
- Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson
- Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair
- Noach Schnapp as Will Byers
- Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers
- Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers
- David Harbour as Jim Hopper
- Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield
- Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler
- Joe Keery as Steve Harington
- Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley
- Brett Gelman as Murray
- Pirah Ferguson as Erica Sinclair
- Eduardo Franco as Argyle
- Cara Buono as Karen Wheeler
- Joe Chrest as Ted Wheeler
- Amybeth McNulty as Vickie
Speaking to Us Weekly on January 23, 2023, Noah Schnapp shared his views regarding his character, Will, and especially his journey about his sexuality and being in love with his best friend, Mike. He said, “I think it’s beautifully written. They’ve had this vision for a long time, which you can tell even from season 1 how they wrote it with his character and how he was bullied and called a fairy all the way up from season 1 up until now. They’ve had this storyline kind of in the works and I think their vision has been working really well.”
In a November 2022 interview with Vogue, Schnapp reverberated with the Duffers’ idea of Stranger Things coming full circle. He expressed, “2023 is the year of Stranger Things for me. We’re filming the final season. There’s a lot in store for Will. It ties back to where it begins, full circle. I’m excited for fans to see where we wrap his character. I think they’ll be really pleased…but also shocked.”
Thanks to Noah’s expressive nature, we have some information regarding the finale of the final season. Speaking to Forbes, Noah dished, “I can just tell you that I’m very very excited for what’s to come. I think they did a great job with Will’s character this season, and beautifully addressed everything they needed to. The way they closed the show is just perfect — the story started with Will, and it’ll end with Will.”
Speaking to Variety Awards Circuit podcast on December 15, Sadie Sink revealed her insights regarding her character, Max. She said, “I feel like after everything Max went through, if she ever wakes up, then I think she would just flee. I think she’s gonna get out, get out of Hawkins. She’s too smart to stay there. But she’s also a very loyal friend, so who knows? It’ll be conflicting.”
However, the actress expressed a paucity of information about season 5 plot details, especially for her character. But when inquired whether Max and Lucas will end up together, she said, “Yeah, I think so. I mean, they’re really cute, aren’t they? And the little like note exchange, that was really sweet. I think we gotta see something. There’s definitely room to grow there.”
In regards to the addition of new characters, the new season presumably won’t feature any, or if it does, it will be very few. In a conversation with IndieWire, Matt Duffer said, “We’re doing our best to resist [adding new characters] for Season 5. We’re trying not to do that so we can focus on the OG characters, I guess.”
Ross added, “Whenever we introduce a new character, we want to make sure that they’re going to be an integral part of the narrative…But every time we do that, we’re nervous because you go, ‘We’ve got a great cast of characters here and actors, and any moment we’re spending with a new character, we’re taking away time from one of the other actors.’ So we’re just very, very careful about who we’re introducing.”
Recently, in Netflix’s TUDUM event, the streaming giant revealed that Linda Hamilton will join the team of Stranger Things season 5. However, the creators have not revealed which character she will play at the moment.
How many episodes will be there in Stranger Things Season 5?
At the time of writing this article, Netflix has not officially confirmed the episode count of Stranger Things Season 5. Be that as it may, based upon the recent tweet made by The Stranger Things Writers attached previously, the creators of the show revealed a picture of the storyboard, which showcased the outline of season 5. The released picture showcased eight episodes. However, the full board is not seen. As of now, we assume that the fifth season of Stranger Things will abound eight episodes. What’s on Netflix reports that each episode will cost “north of $20 million.”
Additionally, on November 7th, 2022, which is touted as Stranger Things Day, the season 5 episode 1 title was disclosed: Chapter One: The Crawl. It is written by The Duffer Brothers.
Is Stranger Things Season 5 the last season?
Unfortunately, yes! In February 2022, when Netflix officially renewed the series for a fifth season, the Duffer Brothers shared a letter on social media. In the letter, the duo expressed their excitement over announcing the release date of Stranger Things season 4. Not only that, but they also revealed that the show is coming to an end.
In conversation with Discussing Film, David Harbour mentioned that it is time for Stranger Things to end:
“What’s funny is when I started the show, I never ever wanted it to end. That’s why I love the show. I think it’s a great show, even if I wasn’t in it. Now we’re almost nine years from filming the first season, and I think it is time for it to end. But it is, of course, very bittersweet. You know, there’s a sadness there. But also, we’ve all grown up. It is time for us to leave that nest and try other things and different projects. And to let the Duffer Brothers try different things as well. I mean, those guys are so talented. I want to see what they come up with next. So it is bittersweet, but it’s definitely time.”
Additionally, Gaten Matarazzo expressed his fear of the end of Stranger Things while on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. He said:
“It’s interesting to constantly just be reminded how much people have resonated with it. I mean, it’s something that’s so important to all of us and has just been essential to the growth that I’ve had over all of my teenage years into my 20s. It’s the defining aspect of the past 10 years of my life, practically the past decade.”
When Fallon asked whether the ending to the series was “bittersweet”, Matarazzo replied:
“There’s kind of an excitement there because you always want to wrap it up and you want to see how these characters are going to finally develop one last time, and how they’re going to finish their journeys. But also there’s like a deep fear. Not only has it been amazing, but it’s been pretty great job security for a while. Back to freelance.”
What is the latest update on Stranger Things season 5?
Recently, Netflix announced that Dan Trachtenberg, popularly known for directing movies 10 Cloverfield Lane and Prey, will serve as a director for one episode in Stranger Things season 5. He is also popular for directing an episode of Black Mirror and the pilot of The Boys.
On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you to stream Stranger Things season 5 on Netflix? Do drop your answers in the comment section given below!