While fall TV premiers are always exciting, Stranger Things is on another tier of hype. The Duffer Brothers' sci-fi period piece was the breakaway hit of last summer, and the fandom has been waiting over a year to finally return to Hawkins, Indiana. One of the ways the show has been praised was for its nods and similar style to classic 80s horror movies. You can certainly see the influence of Stephen King on Stranger Things, and it turns out the legendary writer is actually a fan of the show. The Duffer Brothers recently spoke to their e-mail communication with King, and geeked out a bit. Ross Duffer said,
It still blows my mind because growing up he was such an inspiration --- he's like a god to us, and so, it's been surreal just communicating with him at all (...) We spend a lot of time and make sure the grammar is right. We ran the first email by our writers just to make sure it was good, like, we were very, very particular about it.
I guess if you're going to impress an acclaimed writer, you want to make sure you're free of grammatical and spelling errors. And it worked, as The Duffer Brothers told THR all about their e-mail chain with Stephen King.
Getting the thumbs up from horror's most prolific writer is no doubt thrilling for The Duffer Brothers, who were largely unknowns before Stranger Things arrived on Netflix last summer. The inspiration from Stephen King projects like IT and Carrie were seen in Stranger Things' title sequence, the time period, and colorful characters. This is likely why King was compelled to reach out to The Duffer Brothers, and why he seemed to pleased with Stranger Things' first season on Netflix.
That doesn't seem to take the pressure off of The Duffer Brothers for Season 2, as the fandom is eager to see if it can deliver the same suspense and magic as the first season. Part of what made Stranger Things so binge-able was the various mysteries surrounding the narrative, but now that the characters and audience are privy to Hawkins Lab, Eleven, and The Upside Down, will it be as compelling? The Duffer Brothers are looking at Season 2 like a movie sequel, so hopefully they'll manage to craft a story that will result in more Emmy nominations and critical acclaim.
Despite Stephen King's terrifying stories and his apparent hatred for The Shining movie, The Duffer Brothers maintain that he's a standup guy. While Stephen King may be the creator of nightmares, he's an excellent pen pal.