Stranger Things season 2 hasn’t even been officially announced yet, but it’s safe to say that the Netflix series will be a getting a follow-up in the very near future.
The Duffer Brothers’ eight-part supernatural miniseries, set around the disappearance of a young boy in a small American town, became the surprise TV hit of 2016 and spawned a rabid fan base desperate for another trip back to Hawkins, Indiana.
The show’s brilliant cast (featuring Winona Ryder, Matthew Modine and impressive newcomers), eerie synth soundtrack and raft of 80s Easter eggs made it essential viewing – but what lies in store for the future of the show?
Here’s your complete guide of what to expect from Stranger Things season 2 – and be warned, major spoilers lie ahead.
When will Stranger Things 2 take place?
Series one was set in 1983, and the follow-up will likely wind the clock forward to 1984. The reason? Puberty. The show’s young cast are fast approaching their teens and co-creator Matt Duffer admitted to IGN that they’ll “have to do the Harry Potter thing” to account for their stars’ growth spurts.
“You have to jump a year. Because Gaten [Matarazzo, who plays Dustin in the series], his voice has already dropped quite a bit, to the point where we couldn’t even do ADR [automated dialogue replacement] with him,” he explained.
“We had to pitch it way up. It’s dropped. He’s grown. As much as I would love to have it be Christmas right after that, it’s just not feasible, so we’re going to skip a year. They’ll be a year older, and all their changes they’re going through, we’ll take that into account and kind of work that into the show.”
How will it be different to season 1?
Expect it to be darker, weirder and potentially divisive if you liked the tone of the first run. If Stranger Things pulled in influences from Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter and Stephen King first time around, then season 2 will lean on the darker aspects of that trio. Unexpectedly, it’s Spielberg’s second Indiana Jones that’ll be the biggest influence.
“1984 was a f**king amazing year, especially the movies that came out in the summer of 1984,” said Matt Duffer. “It was an awesome year for cinema, so we’re trying, hopefully, to capture a little bit of the magic of those films. Something like Temple of Doom.
“I actually really love Temple of Doom, I love that it gets a little darker and weirder from Raiders. It messed up a lot of kids, and I love that about that film – that it really traumatised some children. Not saying that we want to traumatise children, just that we want to get a little darker and weirder.”
Is Eleven dead or alive?
Millie Bobby Brown’s mysterious Eleven, a young girl with psychokinetic abilities who escapes from a test facility, was undoubtedly the breakout star of the show. Her final episode tangle with the monster from the Upside Down dimension saw them both seemingly obliterated in front of David Harbour’s Chief Hopper.
That won’t be the last you see of her, though. Hopper was last seen strolling into the woods and leaving out a crate containing an Eggo, Eleven’s favourite brand of waffle. He clearly knows more than we do.
“Obviously something happened to [Eleven] when she destroyed and killed that monster and we don’t know where she went,” Matt Duffer told Variety. “But we like the idea of potentially putting her and Hopper together.”
Will Dr Martin Brenner be back in Stranger Things season 2?
Matthew Modine’s silver-haired sinister doc was presumed dead after getting caught in the “demagorgon” monster’s school attack. However, with mystery still surrounding Eleven’s past and her ‘Papa’ being the only one with answers, expect him to have dodged death.
Matt Duffer explained that season two would have “a lot more backstory built in for Brenner and Eleven”, while Modine himself was the first to confirm season two back in July in an interview with Premiere.
Will we see more Winona Ryder?
The presence of 80s teen queen Winona Ryder was one of the highlights of Stranger Things, and it looks like she’s game for more.
“I’m dying to know [what happens next],” she said. “When are they gonna say that? It has to be soon.”
Ryder added in an interview with Variety: “It’s been overwhelming but in a really great way. I was actually sort of suspicious at first. I’d never experienced anything like it. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in something that was getting so much attention.”
There will be ‘justice for Barb’
Barbara ‘Barb’ Holland, loyal best friend to Natalia Dyer’s Nancy Wheeler, was last seen being dragged into the Upside Down alternate dimension never to be heard from again. Barb’s fans mourned her, even if her demise at the hands of a violent monster was largely ignored by the town.
“Barb will not be forgotten,” Matt Duffer said of the character player by Shannon Purser. “We’ll make sure there’s some justice for Barb. People get very frustrated, understandably, that the town doesn’t seem to be really dealing with Barb. That stuff is all happening. We’re just not spending any screen time on it.”
Will SURVIVE soundtrack Stranger Things season 2?
The Austin electronic duo – Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein – provided a moody score channeling early John Carpenter, but they’re still waiting for the call to return for.
“I would love to get an email today that says, ‘Here’s your contract for Season Two’. But that hasn’t happened yet,” Dixon told The Independent.
When will Netflix release Stranger Things season 2?
It’s still too early to say, but Netflix has a habit of blocking off certain dates to release its flagship shows. House of Cards usually provides twisted counterprogramming around Valentine’s Day time in February, Orange Is the New Black traditionally arrives in June and rumours are already swirling about Making a Murderer season 2 making arriving this December, the same month as its predecessor.
An official message released via Netflix’s social feeds confirmed that season 2 will be arriving in 2017. In addition a further press release from the streaming giant revealed the second run will be comprised of nine new episodes.
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) August 31, 2016
The Duffer Brothers’ show has the spirit of a summer blockbuster movie on the small screen, so mark July 2017 in your calendars as the most likely start date for Stranger Things season 2.
What will the episodes be called?
The season two trailer offered up names for the nine new episodes in the announcement trailer. They are…
- The Boy Who Came Back to Life
- The Pumpkin Patch
- The Palace
- The Storm
- The Pollywog
- The Secret Cabin
- The Brain
- The Lost Brother