You guys? It's been a super long time since we were able to check in with Dustin, Eleven, Lucas, Will, Mike, and the rest of the gang in Hawkins, Indiana for more creepy adventures on Stranger Things. In fact, we're coming up on two years since Season 3 of the Netflix hit released (that happened on July 4, 2019), and, from what star Gaten Matarazzo said recently, we might still have quite a while to wait. It sounds like the way they're filming Season 4 is really not what I would have expected.
Audiences were left with quite a few shockers at the end of Stranger Things Season 3, so we've all been very eager to see where the tale of kids vs. monsters (and also vs. Russia) will go in the new season. But, when actor Gaten Matarazzo spoke with Entertainment Tonight recently, he opened up about the filming process for Season 4, and it sounds painfully slow. Here's what Matarazzo had to say when asked about a nugget of info for the upcoming episodes:
I'll give you one. I'll tell you what I can: We're making it. That's for sure. I'm very excited about it. I'm not right now, I'm actually home in New Jersey right now, so I'm not working on the show now, but it's little increments here and there. We get to go in and film. It's very hard with COVID, and it's a big production, and we film a lot of our stuff in big locations, outside with a lot of people involved. There's a lot of steps and a lot of measures that need to be made before we can think about consistently going into filming. I'm hoping that a big chunk comes up soon though. I actually just recently finished reading the whole season.
Wow. OK, we all know that filming has been a more difficult process in the past several months than it previously was. There have had to be a lot more safety measures, including things like putting production staff, cast, and crew into "bubbles" which isolate people with those they work closely with most often, and having everyone on set tested on a regular basis. But, most productions have been able to take those new safety guidelines and manage to get back on set regularly to churn out episodes. According to what Gaten Matarazzo said, though, it sounds like Stranger Things is taking filming very slowly.
Matarazzo actually used the phrase "little increments here and there" to describe how they've been trying to complete Stranger Things Season 4, which may not bode well for our chances of being able to see the finished product by the end of this year. While production had begun before everything shut down, they were only able to start up again around late September / early October. We've seen many productions close again for a few days or weeks if need be, but once they get back to it, they go full steam ahead. Stranger Things, though, appears to be taking things way easier.
We don't know a ton about the new season, but it does also sound like part of the issue might be the fact that they need to do a lot of shooting with large groups of people, which is something most productions have gotten away from as much as possible, so it does make the possibilities of what's coming up even more intriguing.
Season 3 left us with the Byers family taking in a newly fatherless Eleven, and moving away from Hawkins. Hopper looked to be dead after his battle with spies, but we got a lovely tease early last year which confirmed our suspicions that he, and possibly other Americans, along with at least one Upside Down monster, had been transported to Russia and was being held in prison. So, there will clearly be a lot of ground to cover whenever we do finally get to see the next season.