Spoiler Warning: Major spoilers from the last season of Stranger Things are featured throughout this article (including the text immediately below), so please proceed at your own risk.
The dust has finally settled on Stranger Things Season 4, and while the heroes of Hawkins are all together for the first time in what seems like an eternity, the Hellfire Club isn’t out of the woods just yet. With the way things ended for Eleven, Hopper, Steve (who defied fan expectations and survived), and the rest of the gang during the conclusion of the record-breaking Netflix series’ latest offering, it should come as no surprise that Stranger Things Season 5 is somewhere down the road, waiting like Vecna in the shadows.
But what is surprising is the fact that we already know quite a bit about Season 5 of the Duffer Brothers’ incredibly popular sci-fi series at this point in time. Below are some quick things about the upcoming Stranger Things Season 5, aka the fifth and final series, and the last ride for characters that many of us with a Netflix subscription have all come to know and love these past few years.
What Is The The Stranger Things Season 5 Premiere Date?
A release date has not yet been announced for Stranger Things Season 5, but one of its stars is hopeful that it will be sooner rather than later. When speaking about the show’s future in a July 2022 GQ interview, David Harbour sounded optimistic that, based on their track record, new episodes could be available at some point in 2024. However, nothing has been confirmed at this time and the writers' strike has slowed things down.
The Duffer Brothers Are Trying Hard Not To Include Any New Characters In Season 5
We've all seen how new characters end up doing on Stranger Things. Nine times out of ten, new characters that are introduced to the show are often killed off in the same season, like Bob, Alexei, and most recently, the fan-favorite Eddie Munson, who some still think might not be really dead.
While new characters always seem to win fans over for every season of Stranger Things, the Duffer Brothers have confirmed they are trying very hard not to include any new characters in the final season.
In an interview with IndieWire, Ross Duffer confirmed that they’re intending to focus on the characters we already know, instead of introducing new people in the last season.
To be honest, I am all for this, because I am so tired of new characters getting introduced and then dying the same season. Thank God Robin wasn’t killed off in Season 3. She’s, like, the only person who has survived thus far. Prayers she makes it out of Season 5 alive.
Considering in January 2023 it was announced that the salaries of the main actors were going to be ridiculously huge for the last season, according to Syfy, I can most certainly understand why they would be trying to keep new cast members away.
David Harbour even teased to the Happy Sad Confused podcast in August 2023 that the ending of the series will wrap up the OG characters in a great way and that he was excited to go back and finish it out once the strike was over:
Trust me, we want to see this payoff as much as you do, Harbour.
Linda Hamilton Has Been Added To The Cast
Stranger Things has always had incredible performances from its cast throughout its five seasons, and now, a formidable Hollywood alumnus is coming to the show -- Linda Hamilton.
Announced at June 2023's Netflix TUDUM event, it was confirmed that the Terminator veteran is joining the cast for Season 5 of the popular Netflix series. We're not sure what role she is going to be playing just yet, but honestly, having her here is just a treasure in of itself and I'm sure she's going to bring her A-game to Season 5 of the series in another badass role.
Will Byers Will Be A ‘Big Part And Focus’ Of Stranger Things Season 5
Even before Stranger Things Season 4 concluded, the internet was full of theories about Will Byers actually being a villain, and even though it is hard to say if that will be true or not, the character will be a major part of the show’s final season. When speaking with Collider in July 2022, Matt Duffer revealed that the younger Byers brother will be a “big part and focus” of the show moving forward, which was heavily teased throughout the final two episodes of Season 4.
Piggybacking off of that comment, Ross Duffer said that Will’s journey isn’t over yet and that his unresolved issues (like others on the show) will play a huge role in how the show is wrapped up throughout the final season.
In December 2022, the actor who plays Will, Noah Schnapp, said to Forbes that Will's story is concluded perfectly from what he's seen, and he can't wait for fans to see it.
They even continued to push this when the Duffer Brothers confirmed that the last season is going to really focus around Will and his story, as reported in August 2023.
Stranger Things Season 5 Will Be ‘Pedal To The Metal’ From The Opening Scene
One thing that could make Stranger Things Season 5 different from previous entries in the series is the fact that it will jump straight into the action, as opposed to building up the characters. When speaking with The Wrap in July 2022, Matt Duffer said the final season of the popular Netflix show will be “pedal to metal from the opening scene.”
Earlier in the interview, Duffer compared Stranger Things Season 5 to Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi in that the characters will be going straight from where things left off in the Season 4 finale. This makes even more sense when you consider the fact that the season ended with a sense of hope and dread similar to The Empire Strikes Back.
In March 2023, the Stranger Things writers, who have their own Twitter account, commented on the upcoming season, saying it was like a combination of two fan-favorite seasons.
Season 5 is like if season 1 and 4 had a baby. And then that baby was injected with steroids.March 21, 2023
I'm so excited for this -- something else that was teased recently is that apparently, there's a strong connection between Season 2 and Season 5. The writers of Stranger Things, who have their own Twitter page, say that a re-watch of Season 2 is "highly recommended."
I do think season 2 is consistently underrated. Highly recommend a rewatch before season 5…July 7, 2023
I mean come on, I think it's time for another re-watch.
The Plan Is To Have Stranger Things Season 5 Exclusively Take Place In Hawkins
The characters featured in Stranger Things Season 4 were scattered around the world in places like the Soviet Union, California, and Hawkins, but the Duffer Brothers have revealed that the final season will see those familiar faces back together in Hawkins once more. During an appearance on the Happy Sad Confused Podcast in July 2022, Matt Duffer had this to say when asked if the show will exclusively take place where it all began:
Duffer would go on to stress that even though the show would only take place in one location this time around, it will feel bigger in terms of stakes and scale of the story.
Stranger Things Season 5 Will Be The Last Season
This first bit of information was known months before Stranger Things Season 4 premiered, but that doesn’t make it any less prescient to those anxiously awaiting its return. Back in February 2022, the official Stranger Things Twitter account posted a screenshot of a statement from the Duffer Brothers that basically said the series will come to an end after the fifth season.
In the message to fans, the creative force behind the show explained that they always intended for Stranger Things to play out over the course of four or five seasons. But this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end of the franchise, as the Duffers stressed there are “more exciting stories” to be told in the show’s universe.
Even so, the cast has shared how they feel about it, and the emotional feelings behind it, including Millie Bobby Brown. It'll be a sad day when it does end but we'll be here for the whole ride.
The Duffer Brothers Were Writing The New Season As Of September 2022
Although the Duffer Brothers already have an idea of how things will pan out for those fan-favorite and stand-out characters, they didn’t start fleshing out the characters until August 2022. During an interview with Collider that was published just after the show’s two-part fourth season wrapped up, Ross Duffer revealed:
Then, on Twitter, on the Stranger Writers account, they posted at the end of August 2022 a picture of their empty whiteboard, showing they were beginning the process of planning.
Grid stage pic.twitter.com/b8EmBsafUFAugust 25, 2022
A month later, at the end of September, they posted another picture on Twitter featuring a blurred whiteboard, showing they had finished outlining.
Grid complete pic.twitter.com/vAX7z4NAJYSeptember 20, 2022
What this means for scripts, I’m not sure, but at least we know they have plenty of fun stuff planned. And I for one can’t wait to see what they do next. Does this also mean that the last season is going to be eight episodes since the outline was only eight panels long? The theories in my mind right now.
It was also confirmed not that long ago in November 2022 that the first episode of Stranger Things Season 5 is called "The Crawl," announced on the Stranger Things Twitter page on Stranger Things Day.
season 5. chapter one. the crawl. happy stranger things day pic.twitter.com/xCdNLjD7YtNovember 7, 2022
Stranger Things Season 5 Episodes Won’t Be As Long As Season 4
Although each episode featured in Stranger Things Season 4 was over an hour long (and the finale clocked in a little under two-and-a-half hours), it doesn't sound like we should expect to see too many chapters running all that long when the show’s fifth season premieres at some point in the future. During a July 2022 appearance on the Happy Sad Confused Podcast (via Deadline), co-creator Matt Duffer explained that the reason the Season 4 episodes were so long was because there was so much character set-up required, a level of exposition that really won’t be all that necessary in Season 5.
Even if the episodes won't be as long, the stars are sure that the last season is going to pack a punch. David Harbour spoke with Collider about the final season, and how he is sure the Duffer brothers are going to knock it out of the park.
I just wish it could get here already!
But The Finale Will Probably Be Long
Despite the episodes being shorter in Stranger Things Season 5, it sounds like the series finale will be in the same ballpark as the Season 4 finale in terms of length. During the same interview with the Happy Sad Confused podcast (also via Deadline), Matt Duffer stated that the finale will be as long as a feature film;
Duffer also joked about the wrap-up for Stranger Things Season 5, comparing it to The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, which famously featured one ending after another to bring closure to all the stories before the credits rolled.
Stranger Things Season 5 Was Supposed To Begin Production In May 2023
Originally, Stranger Things Season 5 was set to begin filming in May 2023. According to an Instagram Live that Noah Schnapp did (via Collider), he confirmed that production for the fifth season begins in May 2023, right after he finishes a year at college.
However, the writers of Stranger Things are currently a part of the 2023 Writers Guild of America strike that is effecting most of Hollywood, and they released a statement on Twitter that production for the show would not start until the strike is over, as writing for the show doesn't stop when filming begins.
With this in mind, I'm not entirely sure when Season 5 is going to begin filming now, but we will see once the strike ends.
And There Also Seems To Be A Connection To Evil Dead Rise
Stranger Things tends to have a lot of random connections to popular sci-fi franchises or horror franchises, whether it be miscellaneous references or more, but it seems that Stranger Things Season 5 might have a connection with the latest Evil Dead movie, Evil Dead Rise.
In a tweet released by the Stranger Writers Twitter page, they confirmed that the new movie and "ST5" have something in common, promoting the upcoming film.
We rarely promote new movies on here… But Evil Dead Rise and ST5 share something small but awesome in common…. pic.twitter.com/dlMmGnv2IeApril 21, 2023
What this is, I don't have a single idea, but it makes me really excited for Season 5. Does that mean we might be getting a lot more horror in this last installment? Sign me up.
The Show Plans To Keep The Binge-Watching Method Rather Than Weekly Releases
For those who might know now, Netflix has been experimenting with releasing some of their shows on a weekly basis. They did it back in November 2021 with the animated series Arcane, have done so with their reality shows like Love is Blind or The Circle, and have even done daily releases with shows like Cabinet of Curiosities.
However, Stranger Things has always released several episodes at once for fans to watch. While the fourth season was split up into two parts, both included multiple episodes to watch (or were incredibly long). Netflix intends to keep that model for the show for its final season.
According to a panel that was moderated by Variety (via ScreenRant) the head of Netflix’s scripted series, Peter Friedlander, confirmed that Season 5 of the series would stick to the typical-binge method, where we would be given several episodes at once. So thankfully, no week-long waits for just one episode.
Although we don’t yet know when Stranger Things Season 5 will debut and take the world by storm, make sure to continue to check back for all the latest, and see if any of the questions we want answered are talked about, like what is the Demogorgon? And if you’re looking for something to watch in the meantime, there are plenty of promising 2023 Netflix shows to hold you over while you wait. And if you have any Stranger Things fans in your life, check out our Stranger Things gift guide.
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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 barking 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.