There are already quite a few things we know about Stranger Things Season 5, like the fact that it will be the popular Netflix series’ final installment and that it will see all those beloved characters back in Hawkins together, and so forth. However, there are several lingering questions we still have about the Duffer Brothers’ long-running sci-fi show following the conclusion of the epic two-part fourth season.
We have already tackled some of the more plot-centric unknowns about Stranger Things Season 5 in another article, so today we’ll instead focus on more of the logistical questions concerning the show’s eventual return. Below, we will ponder questions like “when might Stranger Things return,” “will there be any new cast members,” and multiple others while also providing some information that could possibly help us solve the mysteries that remain.
I know we’ve only just returned from Hawkins, but let’s go back to that doomed Midwestern town at least one more time…
When Will Stranger Things Season 5 Start Production?
After concluding the massive two-part Stranger Things Season 4, no one is going to blame Matt and Ross Duffer for taking a little break before getting the ball rolling on the show’s fifth and final season. When speaking with Collider in July 2022, Ross Duffer revealed that they were going to take a “little vacation” in July before getting back into the writer’s room in August. However, the show’s co-creator didn’t elaborate on how long it will take for them and the other scribes to flesh out the story and all its finer details.
Ideally, the Duffers would be able to spend the second half of 2022 finishing the scripts and then start up production on Stranger Things Season 5 at some point in early 2023. Again, this is just speculation, but it doesn’t sound like the Duffers or Netflix are wanting to waste any time before things pick back up again.
When Might Stranger Things Season 5 Premiere?
Another major question — perhaps one of the most pressing — we have about Stranger Things Season 5 is the one surrounding its release date. We won't see the show on the 2022 TV schedule, but no one from Netflix or the production team has given a definitive answer about the return at this point in time. However, one of the main members of the Stranger Things cast thinks to show might come back as early as 2024.
When speaking with GQ following the Stranger Things Season 4 finale, David Harbour speculated on the premiere of the fifth and final season, saying new episodes could come out mid-2024 based on the series’ “track record.” This could very well be the case, considering that every season except for Season 2 had new episodes premiere in the summer months.
How Many Episodes Will There Be?
The Duffer Brothers have already alluded to the fact that Stranger Things Season 5 won’t be as long as the penultimate season in terms of the total length of the installments, but the question still remains as to how many episodes will make up the show’s final stretch. During a July 2022 interview with Collider, Matt Duffer revealed that the goal is to have the final season be around 10 hours long, which would have it around three hours shorter than Season 4.
However, Duffer didn’t provide insight on the episode count. That being said, the first and third seasons of Stranger Things were eight episodes each with Seasons 2 and 4 coming in at nine episodes apiece. If that trend is to continue then we could expect to see another eight-episode season. That may very well change as the Duffer Brothers start writing the Stranger Things send-off and make decisions that lengthen its story.
Will There Be Any New Cast Members?
Although the primary group of Stranger Things characters has largely remained the same throughout the show’s first four seasons, each year at least a few new characters have been introduced and joined the ranks of Eleven, Dustin, Mike, Will, Lucas, and the rest of the gang. Season 2 saw the arrival of Sadie Sink’s Max, Season 3 gave us Maya Hawke’s Robin, and Season 4 saw the debut of characters like Joseph Quinn’s Eddie Munson and Eduardo Franco’s Argyle, to name only a few. But it remains to be seen if the Duffer Brothers have any new cast members waiting to be introduced in the show’s final season.
Going off the show’s track record, you would think there would be at least one new hero and maybe an additional secondary villain to give the core group a thrill while they prepare to take on Vecna for the last time. However, with the show in its endgame, there might not be room for too many new faces in Hawkins. We’ll just have to wait and see…
Could Anyone From Previous Stranger Things Seasons Return?
The Duffer Brothers have already stated that Stranger Things Season 5 will be set in Hawkins, unlike the previous season, which saw characters split up in places like Russia and California. During the co-creators’ appearance on the Happy Sad Confused (opens in new tab) podcast, Matt Duffer said the final season will feature a lot of the original groupings and pairings from the show’s debut back in 2016.
Does this mean we’ll also see some of the other characters from previous seasons come back into the fold before the finale episode airs? The show has brought back several characters over the years with Matthew Modine’s Dr. Martin Brenner and Paul Reiser’s Dr. Sam Owens having a great deal of screentime in Season 4. And the show could very well bring back previously killed-off characters in flashbacks or hallucinations brought on by Vecna, similar to what happened in the most recent season.
Will Season 5 Be Split Into Volumes?
The Duffer Brothers and Netflix broke from tradition when they released Stranger Things Season 4 as two volumes — the first seven episodes debuted in May 2022, the final two premiered in July 2022 — which ended up working out quite well for the show and fans who didn’t have the time to watch the 13-hour story in one sitting. It remains to be seen if Season 5 will follow a similar route or go back to the model from the first three seasons that saw all the episodes drop at once.
Honestly, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to have Stranger Things Season 5 split into two parts, especially if the, hopefully comforting, series finale is two-and-a-half hours. This way, fans could have time to get caught up or allow the major moments of the early episodes to digest before jumping into the final showdown.
Even though there are a lot of unanswered questions about Stranger Things Season 5 on a logistical level, there is still plenty to look forward to from the final season of the popular Netflix show. One thing that is known, though, is the fact that you will need a Netflix subscription to see the show in action when it makes its eventual return.
Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.
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